0077: Rascavieja, Cueva de
El Naso 30T 451722 4796229 (Datum: ETRS89. Accuracy code: A) Altitude 350m
Length 614m Depth 40m
Area position : A Google search for this site (Rascavieja, Cueva de+Matienzo)

Updated 6th May 2000; 16th September 2000; 21st January , 10th June, 27th October  15th November 2001; 8th June 2002; 21st May, 15th October, 8th, 26th November 2003; 21st November 2004; 23rd February 2005; 28th October 2007; 20th December 2008; 6th January 2011; 15th May 2014; 14th October, 3rd December 2016; 8th September 2017; 4th January, 30th April, 30th June 2018; 11th May 2019; 8th January 2020

    Note: The original centre line was taken from the drawn survey. The main passage was resurveyed (6/8/03) but this has yet to be integrated with previous surveys in the end choke, etc. although it is shown on the centre line survey below. The 2017 survey has been appended to the 1985 choke survey. That is, all surveys are shown on the centre line.

   Plotting the entrance on a modern, digital map (with the help of GPS) puts it at 350m altitude, 50m higher than the old maps.

    The 4 x 4m, strongly draughting entrance at the base of a cliff leads to a steep slope down to a 30m wide passage. Near the end of the second chamber, on the west side, a 7m pitch was spotted in August 2017. Just next to it, a climb down over calcite reaches a small chamber but there is no obvious way through to the base of the pitch. (Annotated survey). The pitch was descended at the end of March 2018 and a crawl followed back up to the main passage.
    The main passage route closes down at a couple of strongly draughting boulder chokes. The left hand side has been scaled. At Easter 1998, the left hand boulder choke was pushed through to a small passage and more boulders. The survey needs drawing up.
   Wolf Chamber is in this area: a climb over was aborted due to dodgy rock and a choke beyond the "wolf" skeleton has been dug to a chamber and an impossible choke. (6/8/03).
   The draughting choke to the right has been excavated into a complicated section between moving boulders. This end of the cave was revisited in the summer, 2016, but "the boulder choke into the Easter '85 extension was too challenging for the cavers who had got through successfully over 30 years ago, ie cavers 30 years younger are needed to explore this extension which is still not fully explored. It's a shame that this cave with its massive chambers has been neglected and never finished." In August 2017, a squeeze at the initial chimney down into the choke (1985 extension) was capped out and about 20m of string laid following the original push.
    The draught here is very good: the lead was pushed in December 2017 and surveyed in a complex, strongly draughting area. The survey appears to overlap and diverge from the 1985 extensions, appearing to be a mainly "new" route. Although 104m was surveyed in batch 0077_17_01, the extra unexplored length is possibly about 80.7m and this is included in the length in the header. (Legs through to 0077_17_01.0.5 are flagged as duplicate)

   One male Stenasellus cf. virei Dollfus was collected in 1964 and 1 Greater Horseshoe bat recorded in April 2003.

   L. Mills found the Bronze age skeleton of a youth in the lowest part of the first chamber in 1975.  Both femurs were cut shortly before or after death. In 1999, small pieces of pottery were found in the same area.

   Further human remains were located in the central part of the chamber by C.A.E.A.P. in December 1989. These were subsequently removed: 124 pieces which were probably all from one 12 - 14 year-old. The remains of two hearths were also noted in the centre of the first chamber and a wall deposit seen in the entrance. The S.E.S.S. found pottery fragments, which they considered Iron Age, but which a revision might now class as medieval. A plan of the distribution of human bones recovered in 1999 is found here and full details of all the finds are to be found in Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001. The age of the Bronze Age burial is given as 3999±59BP (radiocarbon years), approximately 2500BC (date calibrated years) (Smith P, Corrin J & Ruiz Cobo J, 2008).

    A tooth from a Giant European Cave Hyena (Crocuta spelaea) has been found. (Smith P, Corrin J and Ruiz Cobo J, 2008, p189).

   Photographs of some of the archaeological finds are pictured here.

   According to Quin (BU pp59-62), in his magnetic susceptibility studies, sediments from Rascavieja show similar k values to sediments in Cueva de Coberruyo (138), indicating that the sites may have had a common morphogenic agent and are connected.

    Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003 has a useful summary of the archaeology, with photos and diagrams.

   Reference Smith P et al, 2015 has a table of the radio-carbon dates..

References: Fernández Gutiérrez et al, 1966 (survey); anon., 1975a; anon., 1975b (Easter and summer logbooks); Kendal Caving Club and Manchester University Speleological Society, 1975 (survey); anon., 1977b (logbook); Mills L D J and Waltham A C, 1981 (survey); Smith P, 1981a; Corrin J S and Smith P, 1981; Manchester University Speleological Society, 1982 (survey); anon., 1984 (logbook); anon., 1985a (Easter logbook); material in file; Smith P, 1985; anon., 1987 (logbook); Corrin J and Knights S, 1988; Ortiz E, 1968; anon., 1992b (logbook); Corrin J and Quin A, 1992; Quin A, 1993b (survey and photo); Muñoz E and Bermejo A, 1987; Quin Andrew, 1995 (survey); anon., 1997d (Autumn logbook); anon., 1998a (Easter logbook); Corrin Juan, 1999; Smith Peter and Ruiz Cobo Jesús, 1999; anon., 1999c (logbook); Corrin Juan, 2000; anon., 2001b (Whit logbook); Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 (includes photos and line drawings); anon., 2003b (Easter logbook); anon., 2003c (summer logbook); Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003 (photos, survey); anon., 2005a (February logbook); Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2007; Smith P, Corrin J and Ruiz Cobo J, 2008; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey); Smith P et al, 2015; anon., 2016c (summer logbook); Smith Peter et al, 2016; anon., 2017c (summer logbook); anon., 2017e (Christmas logbook); anon., 2018b (Easter logbook)
Entrance picture : distant  close up  looking out
Video: Entrance Easter 2014 (YouTube)
Underground picture(s): photos from 1975 and 1984 : bouldery passage 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 : photos from Peter Eagan
summer 2011 : summer 2017 : February 2019
Detailed Survey :  
1964 known cave low res high res
1975 known cave low res high res
1975 & 1985 known cave 1:1000
1999 archaeological dig high res
1999 archaeological pointers in first chamber high res
2017 7m pitch on west side (descended Easter 2018) scan
2017 addition to 1985 extensions (from .top file) jpg

Line Survey :
On area survey : from 1975: low res  high res
Survex file :  download old survey (stations off plan and extensions to the NW added)
combined survey lines after December 2017 (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)
Passage direction rose diagram: 30/6/2018