Archaeological sites of El Higuera
One of the attractions of the area is the set of archaeological sites located in the Calvero de la Higuera in the neighboring town of Pinilla del Valle. These are ancient caves used by both carnivores and Neanderthals who inhabited the Valle del Lozoya during the early Pleistocene moments (about 120,000-40,000).
The first of the deposits was discovered in 1979 and is known as the Cueva del Camino, where two molars belonging to the species Homo neanderthalensis and an important group of fauna from around 90,000 years ago were found. From 2002, when the excavation work on the hill was resumed after a 10-year break with a new team directed from the Regional Archaeological Museum of the Community of Madrid, another 4 deposits have been found in the same Calvero and two others in another nearby hill. The sites of Cueva del Camino, Cueva de la Buena Pinta and Abrigo del Ocelado worked as hyena cubs, while the Navalmaíllo Shelter was a Neanderthal camp. The De-covered Cave is still being studied. In addition to the Cueva del Camino, human remains of Neanderthals have also appeared in the Cueva de la Buena Pinta and the Descovering Cave. Along with the human remains, there is abundant fauna and the stone tools that these humans used in their daily tasks. All these data, make the archaeological complex of Calvero de la Higuera is one of the most emblematic enclaves of this genre in Europe.
During summers, generally between mid-August and mid-September, excavations take place at Calvero de la Higuera. Coinciding with the last Sunday of the excavation season are the so-called Open Doors Days, in which the general public has the opportunity to see this spectacular enclave declared of Cultural Interest, by the specialists themselves. For attendance at the Open Door Days, no reservation is necessary. The activity is also free. The exact dates and times of the conference are announced each year at the beginning of September on the web and newspapers of the sierra. Out of these dates, the deposits are not visitable and can only be accessed accompanied by members of the Research Team. Currently working to make them visitable.
Address: Regional Archaeological Museum of the Community of Madrid (Plaza de las Bernardas s / n, 28801 Alcalá de Henares)
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