Lower Gallery (La Garma cave complex)

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Site type:
Site function:
Habitation site, Decor cave
43.43, -3.66

The Lower Gallery of La Garma is situated at 59 m (194 ft) above sea level and is around 300 m (984 ft) in length. It was discovered in November 1995. Its original entrance was sealed during the Pleistocene by a rockslide about 16,000 years ago, preserving the cave floor in a pristine manner. The Magdalenian Lower Gallery cave floor is one of the best preserved Paleolithic cave floors ever discovered, and thus of great interest to paleoanthropologists. Researchers have divided the Lower Gallery into nine zones. The archaeological finds are found primarily in Zones I, III, and IV. The floor covers an area of more than 500 m2 (5,382 sq ft). Thousands of animal bones and sea shells were found in this section, including Lithic, antler, and bone artefacts. Three stone structures, likely indicative of residential use, were discovered. In a pre-Magdalenian context, 27 hand stencils in red, red dots, and simple animal paintings in red were found throughout the Lower Gallery. The Middle Magdalenian paintings and remains of residential structures were found near the entrance to this section of the cave. A vertical bison representation from Zone IX was directly dated to around 16,512-17,238 BP.