“El Neolítico: puerta de la civilización” the documentary.

Boats from Abrigo de la Laja Alta

Two weeks ago (April 29th) I assisted to the premiere of this documentary about the Neolithic period in Iberian Peninsula. It was in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional (MAN) in Madrid, and followed by discussion with some guests.

The documentary is directed by Manuel Navarro, who belongs to La Nave de Tharsis production which is the reponsable of Arqueomanía, the tv programm that can be watched every sunday at 14h. in La 2 (Rtve).

The documentary shows the Neolithic in Iberian Peninsula with a new view, trying to answer two interesting questions “It was spread by sea?”, “It was a local phenomenon?”. To arrive to the possible answers first it shows us an introduction about the prehistory and early settlements in the Peninsula. Then it shows some of the Early Neolithic sites and findings. But the really interesting part, for me, arrives when it talks about two sites: “Abrigo de la Laja Alta” in Jimena de la Frontera (Cádiz), and the site of “Yacimiento del Campo de Hockey” in San Fernando, Cádiz.

In the first one, “Abrigo de la Laja Alta”, you can find interesting rock paintings of boats which for long time have believed to be phoenician. But new analysis can prove that are more ancient, being the most ancient rock paintings of boats in the world. And can tell us about the spreading of Neolithic by sea.

The second one, “Yacimiento del Campo de Hockey”, is an interesting Neolithic site in a place that was an island thousand of years before. It has an interesting necropolis where have been found individual burials, pretty well conserved in full anatomical connection and with some exotics materials. These things bring interesting questions and thoughts like that obviously they had to have some external contact by sea, but how was the navigation? The burials are interesting too, although it’s a late Neolithic site you can’t find group or megalithic burials (only a couple can be consider like that). Apart from this, at the first sight, anthropologists said that the population of the site seem to have african features. This is still on study and waiting for DNA analysis results that will tell us more interesting things.

These were the most interesting points showed in the documentary. After it, there were an interesting discussion with the following guests: Manuel Pimentel (Arqueomanía’s director); Eduardo Vijande (Director archaeologist of “Yacimiento del Campo de Hockey”); Antonio Rosas (CSIC); Leonardo García Sanjuan (Universidad de Sevilla); and Ruth Macías (MAN).

The main discussion was about the theory of maritime spreading of the Neolithic in the Iberian Peninsula, since until now the main theory talked about the arrival from the continent through the Pyrenees; and about how much of local component there is in the development, and if the spreading was only through culture and materials, or through population too. Only Ruth Macías put some critics, like the too long introduction in the documentary.

I recommend you to watch this new interesting documentary. It will be issued in Arqueomanía program the next autumn.

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Photo source: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3738/10479294506_6499b10e86_b.jpg

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