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Title: Quantifying accessibility to Palaeolithic rock art: methodological proposal for the study of human transit in Atxurra Cave (Northern Spain)
Authors: Intxaurbe Alberdi, Iñaki
Arriolabengoa, Martín
Medina-Alcaide, María Ángeles
Rivero, Olivia
Ríos Garaizar, Joseba
Salazar Cañarte, Sergio
Líbano, Iñaki
Gárate Maidagán, Diego
Keywords: Cave geomorphology;Cave art;Archaeological context;GIS;3D cave survey;Caving travel rate
Issue Date: Jan-2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2021, 125, 105271
Abstract: The systematic evaluation of accessibility to different sectors in caves with Palaeolithic rock art is crucial to interpret the contexts of prehistoric human activity that took place inside them, especially if focused on the areas that are harder to reach. 3D models have been employed in a GIS to process spatial information, calculate numerical cost values and estimate optimal transit routes or needed times to reach several sectors inside a cave, based on morphological features and movement types. These have been obtained through empirical observations and experimental archaeology. Previous geomorphological studies are necessary to determine any geological or anthropic changes that may have occurred in the endokarst since its use in the Upper Palaeolithic. The method has been applied in Atxurra Cave, with satisfactory results, and the accessibility to different archaeological sectors has been compared objectively. This will enable the objective and quantitative assessment of accessibility to the deep sectors of other prehistoric caves in the future, and thus establish recurring or specific patterns among the human groups that created the Ice Age art.
ISSN: 0305-4403
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2020.105271
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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