Mountains, Herds and Crops: the new evidences from the Early Neolithic at the Southern Central Pyrenees

Ermengol Gassiot Ballbe*, MAZZUCCO Niccolo, Sara Diaz Bonilla, Laura Obea Gómez, Javier Rey Lanaspa, Barba Pérez Marcos, David Garcia Casas, David Rodríguez Antón, Guillem Salvador Baiges, Tona Major Ortín, Ignacio Clemente Conte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


After years of intense fieldwork, our knowledge about the Neolithisation of the Pyrenees has considerably increased. In the southern central Pyrenees, some previously unknown Neolithic sites have been discovered at subalpine and alpine altitudes (1,000-1,500 m a.s.l.). One of them is Cueva Lóbrica, 1,170 m a.s.l., which has an occupation phase with impressed pottery dated ca. 5400 cal BCE. Another is Coro Trasito, 1,558 m a.s.l., a large rock shelter that preserves evidence of continuous occupations in the Early Neolithic, 5300-4600 cal BCE. Evidence of human occupation at higher altitudes has also been documented. In the Axial Pyrenees, at the Obagues de Ratera rock shelter, 2,345 m a.s.l., an occupation has been dated to around 5730-5600 cal BCE. At Cova del Sardo, in the Sant Nicolau Valley, at 1,780 m a.s.l., a series of occupations have been excavated, dated to ca. 5600-4500 cal BCE. These sites allow us to discuss patterns of occupation of the mountainous areas between the Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic. Recent data suggest that the last hunter-gatherer occupied all altitudinal stages of the Pyrenees, both in the outer and inner ranges. A change in the settlement pattern seems to have occurred in the Early Neolithic, which consisted of a concentration of occupations in the valley bottom and mid-slopes, in biotopes favourable to both herding and agriculture.

Translated title of the contributionMontañas, rebaños y cultivos: las nuevas evidencias del Neolítico antiguo en la vertiente sur del Pirineo central
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1034
Number of pages20
JournalOpen Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Early Neolithic
  • Mesolithic
  • Pyrenees
  • agriculture
  • livestock


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