Wikipedia logoThis page is sourced from Wikipedia

Wikipedia data hasn't been reviewed for accuracy by the Gignos Research Team

Site function:
Habitation site
36.62, -4.49
Homo neanderthalensis

The Bajondillo Cave is an archaeological site in the El Bajondillo district of Torremolinos in southern Spain. The oldest evidence to date of the consumption of snails and mussels by Neanderthals was discovered in this cave.

The cave - an abri - is about 30 meters long and was formed within an approximately 30-meter-thick travertine formation. It is 15 meters above today's mean sea level and about 250 meters from today's coastline. Although the sea level was significantly higher than today during the younger interglacial periods, the cave was also above sea level during these times, so that none of the stratigraphic find horizons preserved in it were created by natural intrusion from the Mediterranean Sea. The cave has been explored since 1989.

A total of 20 archaeological layers can be distinguished in the Bajondillo Cave. Their thickness is 5.40 meters; they cover a period of time from around 7,000 years to around 150,000 years ago, and the majority of them contain evidence of use first by Neanderthals and later by anatomically modern Cro-Magnons (Homo sapiens). Among other things, charcoal and processed flint were detected.

Numerous stone tools of the Levallois type were recovered from the second oldest find layer (Bj19) as well as various shells of mussels and snails, which can be attributed to Neanderthals and are considered to be the oldest evidence of the consumption of mollusks by Neanderthals.

According to a study published in 2019, the cave was used exclusively by anatomically modern people from around 45,000 to 43,000 years ago (cal BP), i.e. long before the cold snap known as Heinrich Event 4 - according to more recent dating - 40,200 to 38,300 years ago (cal BP). This dating by radiocarbon method has been interpreted to mean that southwestern Europe was settled by Homo sapiens at a similarly early age as central Europe.