Raw Material Procurement Strategies from Pinilla del Valle’s Neanderthals

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The Iberian Peninsula is a privileged region to study the behavior of Neanderthal populations because of the quantity and quality of preserved sites located mainly in coastal areas. Pinilla del Valle sites are located in central Iberian Guadarrama mountain range (Madrid, Spain) and has a Neanderthal occupation that so far provided more than 20.000 Mousterian lithics of a high variety of raw materials. The study of their sources of exploitation will allow to understand the use and the impact available resources from their ecological niche have on the technology used. There are a variety of factors that can influence the technology used such as resource availability, physical properties of the rocks, knappers skill and cognitive abilities, and tradition. We aim to understand why Pinilla del Valle Neanderthals preferred some lithic raw materials over others. To accomplish this objective there is the need to do geological surveys of different radius from the site to collect rock samples in primary (i.e. rock outcrop) and secondary positions (i.e. fluvial or slope deposits). The samples will be used to construct a collection of the available resources to compare in the near future with lithic tools collected on the archaeological excavations through archaeometric techniques.


Ana Abrunhosa


Wenner-Gren Foundation
Museo Arqueológico Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid




Abrunhosa, A., Cascalheira, J., Pérez-González, A., Arsuaga, J. L. and Baquedano, E. (2017). The use of Digital mobile technologies for geoarchaeological survey: the example of the Pinilla del Valle Raw Materials project. Edited by Benjamin Jennings, Christopher Gaffney, Thomas Sparrow and Sue Gaffney. AP2017: 12th International Conference of Archaeological Prospection. 12th-16th September 2017- University of Bradford. Archaeopress. 280 pages.

Abrunhosa, A., Bustillo, M.A., Pereira, T., Márquez, B., Pérez-González, A., Arsuaga, J.L. and Baquedano, E. (2017). Characterization of silica Mousterian tools from Navalmaíllo Neanderthal Rockshelter (Madrid-Spain) using Petrography, SEMEDX and portable XRF”. Oral presentation at the 7TH Developing International Geoarchaeology Conference. Newcastle University (UK). 4 – 7 september.

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