Updated 27th October, 18th November 2001; 8th June, 12th November 2002;
27th October 2007; 21st December 2008; 25th September 2012; 22nd May 2014; 3rd December 2016
The lower and more easterly of two caves. A climb up to a single passage with an alcove on the right and which becomes too tight with a narrow rift in the roof.
John Thorp found a polished stone (ophite) in the floor in 1989. Resembling the polished stones axes of Chalcolithic age, it may be a unique find in Cantabria. A line diagram is to be found here and here (from Martínez Velasco Antxoka, 2001)
Further finds have included human bones, pointing to a funerary deposit. Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 discusses the site archaeology and Martínez Velasco Antxoka, 2001 reviews the three ground stone artefacts found in Matienzo.
The site is typical of a Bronze Age burial - a small entrance with the remains placed not far inside the cave (Smith P, Corrin J & Ruiz Cobo J, 2008).
On a visit in 2012, a human finger bone and burnt bones of cow and deer were identified along with bird and other small bones. A piece of red ochre (ruddle) was seen.
References: anon., 1988 (logbook); anon., 1989 (logbook); Corrin J, 1990; material in file; Smith Peter and Ruiz Cobo Jesús, 1999; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 (includes photo); Martínez Velasco Antxoka, 2001 (includes line drawing); Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003 (photo, survey and line drawing of adze); Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2007; Smith P, Corrin J & Cobo J R, 2008; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey) [Some of the references to site 708 in this volume actually refer to site 709]; anon., 2012d (summer logbook); anon., 2014b (Easter logbook); Smith Peter et al, 2016
Entrance picture : both sites 0708 and 0709
Underground picture(s): position of adze 1 2 : deer bone
Detailed Survey : 1:500 with site 708
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file :
Miscellaneous : Photographs of the adze 1 2