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Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags in European Context$
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Paul Pettitt, Paul Bahn, Sergio Ripoll, and Francisco Javier Muñoz Ibáñez

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199299171.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

Dating Magdalenian Art in North Spain: The Current Situation

Dating Magdalenian Art in North Spain: The Current Situation

Chapter:
13 (p.247) Dating Magdalenian Art in North Spain: The Current Situation
Source:
Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags in European Context
Author(s):

César González Sainz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199299171.003.0018

The graphic activity of Magdalenian human groups forms the most spectacular part of the archaeological record in Cantabrian Spain and, at the same time, represents probably the most expressive aspect of the culture of those Upper Palaeolithic hunters. Since the early 1990s, several projects have tried to fix more precisely the chronology of the cave art through the application of radiocarbon dating by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (Valladas et al. 1992, 2001; Moure Romanillo and González Sainz 2000; Fortea Pérez 2002). The present article attempts an integrated discussion of the results of the absolute chronology for Magdalenian cave art and the present situation of the most reliable parallels between this and the mobile art of the same period. It is well known that the ordering in time of cave art is rather more complex than that of decorated objects, which are dated by their archaeological context (and therefore both this context and the artefacts themselves can be dated by radiocarbon). In Cantabrian Spain, the approaches to dating cave art, especially for the Magdalenian depictions, are the series of superimpositions known on certain walls of a few caves, the analogy with stratified mobile art, and absolute dating, essentially for this period, radiocarbon dating by accelerator. Other procedures, such as the correlation with stratigraphic sequences, offer good results in pre-Magdalenian periods (Fortea 1994), but are limited in the period that interests us here to just a few cases, such as Cueva del Mirón, in relation with some rather modest depictions (González Morales and Straus, 2000). 1. Series of superimposed figures of different kinds have often been described, on panels in a limited number of cave sites. In Cantabrian Spain, the main examples are found in the caves of La Peña del Candamo, Tito Bustillo, Llonín, Altamira, El Castillo, La Pasiega, and La Garma Lower Passage—in other words, the main cave art centres, repeatedly used over long periods in the Upper Palaeolithic. These sites tend to differ quite clearly from the other cave art sites, which are more or less synchronic internally (they have a much lower number of depictions which, above all, are more homogeneous in style and techniques).

Keywords:   Azilian, Ekain, Spain, Garma, La, Spain, Leroi-Gourhan, A, claviform signs

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