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Title: Prehistoric human tracks in Ojo Guareña Cave System (Burgos, Spain): the Sala and Galerías de las Huellas
Authors: Ortega Martínez, Ana Isabel
Ruiz García, Francisco
Martín-Merino, Miguel Ángel
Benito-Calvo, Alfonso
Vidal-Cordasco, Marco
Bermejo Albarrán, Lucía
Karampaglidis, Theodoros
Keywords: Human footprints;3D laser scanner;Ojo Guareña;Cave system;Exploration;14C data;Chalcolithic
Issue Date: Feb-2021
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Reading Prehistoric Human Tracks, 2021, 317-342
Abstract: In 1969, members of Grupo Espeleológico Edelweiss discovered the Sala and Galerías de las Huellas in Ojo Guareña Cave system (Burgos, Spain). These contained hundreds of ancient human footprints, preserved in the soft sediment on the floor. These footprints represent the tracks of a small group of people who walked barefoot through these complex passages in the cave. Owing to the difficult compatibility of the documentation and preservation of these prints, it was not possible to study them before the development of new non-invasive remote sensing techniques. However, since 2012 optical laser scanning and digital photogrammetry have been used in Galerías de las Huellas, in combination with GIS techniques, to obtain a model of the cave floor, where the footprints and their internal morphology can be observed in detail. We have identified over 1000 prehistoric human footprints and at least 18 distinct trackways through the passages, which could have been left by around 8–10 individuals. Since 2016, an archaeological field study has been conducted in this sector, in order to determine and explore its surrounding area and find other archaeological evidence that may be directly associated with these tracks. Numerous remains of torches are preserved on the walls and floor in the immediate surroundings of the footprint sites. Some of them have been dated, which has revealed the intensive use of this underground landscape from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic-Neolithic. However, the remains in Sala and Galerías de las Huellas date solely to the Chalcolithic, around 4300 calBP.
ISBN: 978-3-030-60405-9
Type: Book chapter
Appears in Collections:Cartografía Digital y Análisis 3D
Geocronología y Geología

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