Field ProjectsNext Previous

Cova de les Borres

Location: La Febró (Tarragona, Spain)
Cronology: upper Pleistocene-early Holocene
Director: María Soto and Josep Vallverdú

The Les Borres Cave site is a rock-shelter located in the head of Siurana river basin. Its origin is related to a karstic landscape originated during the collapse of a thick limestone cliff from the Triassic. The site is a big rock-shelter originated by the collapse of a previous phreatic cave due to slope and fluvial incision processes. The Siurana river downcutting creates a thick cliff where slope processes formed an undated talus cone. In the upper surface of this talus cone, a pedogeneised (rendzina-like to mollic horizon-like) limestone breccias conforms a late upper Pleistocene-early Holocene sedimentary succession.

The Borres Cave site reaches a width of ca. 40 meters with a preliminary thickness of 1.5 meters. The maximum thickness of the talus cone reaches 20 meters, showing typical sediments of glacial stages in the Mediterranean area (grèzes litées) that are Pleistocene aged. These sediments have not been explored yet, and their archaeological potential is actually unknown.

The site was discovered by Dr Salvador Vilaseca and his collaborators (Albert Prunera and Manuel Mata) during the 40s, in the 20th century. Dr Vilaseca published the archaeological remains recovered as the earliest record of human presence in the Prades Range. Fieldworks restarted in 2012. The preliminary studies of the archaeological assemblage and the 14C dates suggest a Late Magdalenian and early Epipaleolithic record. Technological assemblages show a predominance of laminar debitage and the configuration of backed points, blades and endscrapers. The zooarchaeological studies show a systematic processing and burning of mountain taxa like Capra and Cervidae.

Cova de les Borres
La Febró (Tarragona, Spain)
upper Pleistocene-early Holocene
María Soto and Josep Vallverdú