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Site type:
Site function:
Habitation site
42.28, 2.59
Homo neanderthalensis

The Ermitons cave is one of the most relevant archaeological sites in Alta Garrotxa. The site is next to the stream of Sant Aniol, in the district of Sales de Llierca, at 400 masl. The opening is very regular and arched, and the length of the cave is about 70 m. reaching with a height difference of 11m. The geological substratum of the cave consists of a succession of seven strata within which there are prehistoric remains from different periods.

Stratum I is very discontinuous and of little thickness, it is altered by the clandestine action. It has provided very few archaeological elements that correspond to a mixture of different periods. Stratum II, of which a small part has been excavated. A pit/silo was located in 2005 and continued to be excavated during the 2010-2011 campaign, and has provided Late Bronze chronology materials. This would have been used for the storage of grains and other plant products. As for the lithic industry, some flint ashlets have been recovered. The reduced presence of Mosterian industry stands out, probably from the lower stratum, incorporated into it when the silo was excavated. The faunal representation is very abundant: different species such as ovicaprids, suids and ursids have been recovered.

Stratum III has provided scarce archaeological material, some fragments of ancient Neolithic pottery, few lithic pieces and abundant wild fauna. The data from this layer are insufficient to be able to determine the chronology.

Stratum IV, corresponds to the final Middle Palaeolithic and late Mosterian, between 40,000 or 45,000 BP. This is a level with specific short-term human occupations where the faunal remains of bone from the caves and remains of the Pyrenean goat abound. The lithic industry is very scarce, and it is made on quartz, flint and hornblende.

Stratum V is characterized by a lithic industry of retouched tools, manufactured in quartz, chert, hornblende, quartzite and filonian rocks. The presence of Upper Palaeolithic tools such as scrapers, sharps and a châtelperronian point in quartzite stands out. The fauna is represented by the Pyrenean goat and some remains of carnivores such as ursids. The stratum is dated between 40,000 and 30,000 BP.

Stratum VI provides abundant lithic remains with a predominance of the use of local materials to exploit. The carving system is levallois, although discoidal is also present. The tools most represented are denticulated, but the presence of tools from the Upper Paleolithic stands out, which date the stratum to a final stage of the Middle Paleolithic.

Stratum VII is sterile.