Alkerdi 2

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Site type:
Site function:
Decor cave
43.28, -1.52

In 2014, the General Directorate of Culture of the Government of Navarre launched a major research project to evaluate the archaeological potential of Alkerdi-Berroberri. This new research project was entrusted to the Aranzadi Science Association, and the Urdazubi City Council also supported it. Thus, in 2016 Alkerdi 2 was discovered as well as new expressions of Paleolithic rock art and an important extension of a previously unknown gallery. In July 2020, Satorra discovered another gallery decorated by the speleology team in Alkerdi 2 cave.

The works of art found in 2016 are divided into four sectors. Two of them (A and B), with the most representations, are next to each other, at the end of the cave, and the other two (C and D) are in separate side galleries. There are three engravings of animals (a bison, a horse, and an unspecified quadruped), complex geometric signs painted in black (triangle, cluster of dots) and red (rectangle with parallel strokes inside), isolated etched lines, and dots and spots painted in red. To these must be added those encountered in 2020: bison, aurochs, horses, and in particular, four vulvas. Along with them, there are at least five series of double lines drawn in red paint.

They are images from the Gravettian period, around 28,000 to 20,000 years ago, and they have similarities with some graphic conventions of continental Europe. That is, there are hardly any similar examples of that time in the Iberian Peninsula and this is precisely the most important characteristic of these images. On the other hand, as mentioned by the members of the research team, the technological analysis of the lines engraved on the stone shows that the person who made them did not have the skills inherent in artists. It seems that the author was inexperienced because he was not able to create continuous and secure lines.