0087: Emboscados, Cueva de los
La Secada 30T 452361 4797841 (Datum: ETRS89. Accuracy code: G) Altitude 223m
Length 260m
Area position

Updated 5th September 1998; 16th September 2000; 27th October, 11th November 2001; 8th November 2003; 15th July, 27th October 2007; 21st December 2008; 21st May 2014

The entrance, gated in 1998, is at the head of a steep wooded slope, under a rock shelter. (Possible gating to protect the engravings and artefacts is mentioned in León J and Smith P, 1993). Goats were kept out of the cave by rocks which can be removed to reveal a small draughting hole. A short crawl enlarges and descends, past formations, into a fine 12m wide passage. The calcite slope levels out at a pit in the floor and then zig-zags to a gentle ascent to a draughting boulder choke. This has been dug through for about 8m in some major excavations. Part way along it is possible to see up into "space". The pit has a tight passage in its base and a tight squeeze which opens out into a small chamber. A number of small passages all choke but there are some nice formations.

Up on the left at the dogleg a climb of about 8m enters an extra 66m of passage. Description...........?

The cave may also have been an ancient outlet for the Matienzo water and the choke at the end could repay further digging.

With its south facing entrance, above the river, it is likely that Emboscados (or at least the rock shelter at the entrance) was used as a habitation.

L. Mills found a rounded stone or iron nodule (125mm x 85mm x 43mm), which had been hammered at both ends, in the central part of the cave in 1975. This is classed as a grindstone or whetstone (afiladera) in Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008, p224. In 1979 several prehistoric engravings were located in the second passage. These include several deer, goats and other lines, not interpreted. A curving line of red paint crosses over the back of the first deer. Also in 1979, a flint was found in the entrance. Some shells and Bronze Age pottery were found inside the entrance by C.A.E.A.P. in February 1991. A human tibia was also seen.
Later investigation has shown the remains of a shell midden in the entrance. (Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001). Some of the archaeological artefacts are illustrated here. Smith Peter, 2002 has the possibility that some these engravings are false.

See also Iberia before the Iberians (Strauss Lawrence Guy, 1992, p133 and 176).

References: Fernández Gutiérrez et al, 1966 (survey); anon., 1974a; Cox G, 1973; Kendal Caving Club and Manchester University Speleological Society, 1975 (survey); anon., 1976 (logbook); Addis F et al, 1979; Manchester University Speleological Society, 1982; anon., 1980a (logbook); Corrin J et al, 1981b; Corrin J, 1980; Mills L D J and Waltham A C, 1981 (survey); Smith P, 1981c ; Smith P, 1981a; Corrin J S and Smith P, 1981; anon., 1982 (logbook); Corrin J, 1983c; anon., 1983b (logbook); anon., 1986 (logbook) (survey); Smith P, 1986a (survey); anon., 1988 (logbook); Cawthorne B and Neill A, 1990; Balbin R et al, 1986; material in file; Cawthorne Bob et al, 1988; anon., 1989 (logbook); Neill A et al, 1989; Smith P, 1988; anon., 1991 (logbook); anon., 1992a (Easter logbook); anon., 1993b (logbook); Neill Alasdair and Jackson Keith, 1993; Muñoz E and Bermejo A, 1987; León J and Smith P, 1993; anon., 1995a (Easter logbook); anon., 1995b (Whit logbook); anon., 1995c (logbook); Smith P, 1995 (survey); Smith Peter and Ruiz Cobo Jesús, 1999; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 (includes lines drawing and photos); Smith Peter, 2002; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003; Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2007; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey); anon., 2014b (Easter logbook)
Entrance picture : position from the road : entrance shelter : gated entrance, 2014
derground picture(s): surveying past formations  surveying in passage  looking back down from end choke
Detailed Survey :
1965 known cave low res high res
1975 known cave low res high res
1988 known cave 1:1000

Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : yes (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)