Updated 27th October, 12th November 2001; 25th January, 7th March 2005;
28th October 2007; 22nd December 2008; 2nd November 2009; 8th January 2020
An awkward climb up to the right of an obvious gully leads to a walking height cave entrance. The passage has been excavated of its sediments but the entrance originally had thousands of skeletal remains from owl pellets. Twelve metres in there is a calcite and mud blockage, which is quite close to a passage in Cueva de Colmenas (363). At the bottom left of the back wall is a draughting hole.
The cave contained a great deal of archaeological material for such a small site. When the cave was first dug in 1995 (to try to gain a Colmenas connection) some pottery was found along with snail shells in calcite. A permit to excavate was obtained and since then numerous items have been unearthed and catalogued.
The report on the excavations and interpretations is contained in a number of chapters in The Archaeology of the Matienzo Depression, North Spain.
A general overview of the excavations (including flints, charcoal, seeds, medieval and prehistoric pottery, a galena fragment, iron nails and part of a grenade) is to be found illustrated in Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001. Some of the items are shown here. Conclusions and sequence discussions are also found here.
The larger mammal bones are studied in Castaños Pedro, 2001a: Estudio arquezoológico de la fauna del yacimiento de Cubío Redondo (Matienzo, Cantabria) with an English translation. Bones were collected of red deer, roe deer, ibex, chamois, wild boar, wild cat and stone marten.
Bird remains found included buzzard, barn owl, magpie, chough, alpine chough and jackdaw. These are documented in Sánchez Marco Antonio, 2001: Las aves del yacimiento mesolítico del Cubío Redondo.
The major aspect of the cave was the snail shells and the fact that the site turned out to be a Mesolithic inland shell midden - a facies never systematically dug before in Cantabria. Over 979 shells were recovered, representing 21 species. The only edible variety was Cepaea nemoralis - the Brown Lipped Snail. The results of this study is found in Aparicío Ma Teresa, 2001: Malacofauna terrestre del yacimiento del Cubío Redondo (Matienzo, Cantabria) with an English translation.
Small mammal bones were also excavated. The results of this study are also to be found in Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001. Bones retrieved included vole, shrew, mole, wood mouse, harvest mouse, dormouse, house mouse and rat.
A useful summary is found in Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003, pages 51-54, with photo, survey and diagrams.
González Morales Manuel et al, 2004 highlights two devergent dates indicating visits widely separated in time: 5780±50BP and 6630±50BP. The article suggests the cave "may have been used by people mainly based near the shore as a minor transit and/or short term hunting camp in the foothill zone".
Reference Smith P et al, 2015 has a table of radio-carbon dates.
Reference: anon., 1994b (logbook); anon., 1995c (logbook); anon., 1996b (logbook); Smith Peter and Ruiz Cobo Jesús, 1999; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2000; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001 (includes a photo and line drawings); Castaños Pedro, 2001a; Sánchez Marco Antonio, 2001; Aparicío Ma Teresa, 2001; Corrin Juan, 2003a; Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter, 2003; González Morales Manuel et al, 2004; Corrin Juan and Smith Peter, 2007; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey); Smith Peter 2012; Smith P et al, 2015;
Entrance picture : yes
Detailed Survey :
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file :