University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

Font Size: 
A new approach for a peculiar Palaeolithic site: Spatial analysis at La Garma (Spain)
Alfredo Maximiano Castillejo, Pablo Arias Cabal, Roberto Ontañon Peredo

Last modified: 2011-12-21


  The archaeological site La Garma is located in northern of Spain, close of Santander city (Cantabrian Region). This Palaeolithic camp is almost entirely in a cave, whose geomorphology is linked to the karstic dynamics making a complex network of galleries, halls and wells. The principal particularly of this site is the collapse of the cave entrance during the Late Glacial blocked the gallery and interrupted the geological and anthropogenic processes producing the sedimentary accumulation. That has allowed the preservation on the surface of the cave of around 800 square meters; around 76,000 archaeological items (bones, flint and antler implements, marine mollusc shells, portable art objects…) are spread on the floor of the cave. Moreover, very clear indices of the human transformation of the space have been found, among them six evident stone structures.

In this situation, La Garma is an ideal laboratory for study (i)The multiples spatial distributions of different collections remains into the site. (ii) It is also an ideal environment for apply new spatial analytical toolkit (geostatistical approach and analitical visualization)and re-thinking some aspect in archaeological spatial analysis.

In La Garma, the main argument of archaeological spatial analysis: "Reconstruction the activity performed in locations from partial distribution of remains", it acquires a new dimension, possibility and opportunities. This is possible because the particular conditions of preservation, stability and potential information of the archaeological records are very significance. Probably; we are working with an archaeological recording where we can detect and measurement the last action took place in every sets of material localization. We think the most important opportunity in this site is the possibility of mapping causal actions in theirs more probably spatial location, beyond the classical spatial study where the principal object is mapping spatial distributions of remains in term of theirs nominal categories.


  This contribution is an empirical proposes where we can establish quantitative relations between possible causal action and theirs spatial distribution of materials effects. Of course, learning and applying new approach in spatial analysis into La Garma will give us an experience which we can export and apply to others archaeological spatial problems in others archaeological complexities. 




spatial analysis; causal action; geostatistical approach