Updated 15th, 20th November, 23rd December 2008; 8th May 2009; 19th November 2010; 30th November 2016; 8th January 2020
An open, walk-down entrance in the woods to the southwest of Cueva Arenal. The slope enters a boulder-floored chamber and down on the right in an alcove were some bones from 2 infants, including skull fragments. These have been removed and were further studied, as a permit has been given by the Consejería de Cultura.
The remains were given to Francisco Etxeberria a renowned expert in forensics. (A past-president of the Aranzadi Science Society, director of the Department of Physical Anthropology and professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the University of the Basque Country School of Medicine.)
Carbon-14 dates have come back but, unfortunately, the dates range from 60 years ago to the 17th century. (Results pdfs CNA377 and CNA378).
In late 2010 the DNA report concluded that the infants belong to the same haplotypes in the control region of the mitochondrial DNA, and statistically that's 88.24 times more likely that they come from the same maternal lineage than if they were taken at random from the reference population. They must be siblings. But apart from that they couldn't get any more information from the samples.
Reference Smith P et al, 2015 has a summary of the archaeological work carried out within 2004 - 2016 and has a table of radio-carbon and thermoluminesence dates.
Reference: anon., 2007d (summer logbook); Corrin Juan, 2007a; anon., 2008f (autumn logbook); Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey); Corrin Juan, 2010; Smith P and Etxeberia F et al, 2012; Smith Peter 2012; Smith P et al, 2015; Smith Peter, Etxeberría Francisco, Martínez de Pancorbo y Cardoso Sergio, 2016
Entrance pictures : yes
Underground pictures : yes, including bone and carbon removal
Videos : by Juan Corrin Bones (31Mb); excavating the remains (10Mb)
Detailed Survey : 1:500 pdf file
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.)