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Field School for Quaternary Palaeoanthropology and Prehistory of Murcia, S.E. Spain

Location: Murcia, Murcia, Spain

July 1, 2014 to August 12, 2014

Session dates: 
Session 1: July 1-21, 2014; Session 2: July 22 - August 12, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon briefing_you_in_2014.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Murcian Association for the Study of Palaeoanthropology and the Quaternary MUPANTQUAT

Project Director:

Emeritus Professor Michael J. Walker, Departamento de Zoologia y Antropologia Fisica, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de Murcia, 30100

Project Description

Field school and excavations: Session 1 July 1- 22, 2014, excavation at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Rio Quipar (Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Spain); Session 2 July 22-August 12, 2014, excavation at Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo (Torre Pacheco, Murcia, Spain). Now redated to 900,000-750,000 BP, Cueva Negra has Homo heidelbergensis teeth, abundant faunal and Palaeolithic remains (including an Acheulian handaxe, small Levallois disc cores and flakes with facetted striking platforms and abrupt Mousteroid edge retouch. Dated to 50,000 BP, Sima de las Palomas has Levalloiso-Mousterian Palaeolithic flake tools and skeletal remains of ten Neanderthals which include three articulated skeletons. You take part in excavation, sorting, identifying and documenting finds, class and seminar sessions, excursions to other archaeological sites of interest.

Period(s) of Occupation: Palaeolithic, Pleistocene

Pleistocene hominid and Palaeolithic remains

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Preference is given to applicante willing to stay for at least one complete 3-week session

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Bunks, hot showers, in schoolhouses. Daily meals: light breakfast, midmorning sandwich, cooked lunch, cooked supper. Laundry service. For full details go to "Brochure" and download our pdf "BRIEFING YOU" document. 

50 euros daily includes board and lodging and travel between our bases and sites; you must pay your own fare to Murcia Airport where we meet you

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Formal US credit is not offered, but we collaborate with US faculty in helping students with projects that can be presented as term papers to gain on returning to their campus.
Number of credits offered Certificates of attendance are issued to comply with UK and Commonwealth universities' requirements for fieldwork by undegrads in archaeology; US college credit is not offered
If US (or other) students are allowed by their faculty to gain credit for papers presented on their return home, we are always willing to help them during their stay with us


Contact Information
Prof. Michael Walker
Departamento de Zoologia y Antropologia Fisica, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de Murcia
Recommended Bibliography: 

Some recent work in English about our sites
2013 M.J.Walker, M.V.López-Martínez, J.S.Carrión-García, T.Rodríguez-Estrella, M.San-Nicolás-del-Toro, J-L.Schwenninger, A.López-Jiménez, J.Ortega.Rodrigáñez, M.Haber-Uriarte, J-L.Polo Camacho, J.García-Torres, M.Campillo-Boj, A.Avilés-Fernández, W.Zack: "Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Murcia, Spain):  A late Eary Pleistocene hominin site with an "Acheulo-Levaloiso-Mostroid" asseblage" Quaternary International 294: 135-159 (ISSN 1040-6182).
2013 W.Zck, A.Andronikov, T.Rodríguez-Estrella, M-López-Martínez, M-Haber-Uriarte, V.Holliday, D.Lauretta, M.J.Walker: "Stone procurement and transport at the late Early Pleistocene site of Cueva Negra del Estreco de Río Quípar (Mucia, SE Spain)." Quartär 60 (ISSN: 035-7471). 
2013 D.Angelucci, D.Anesin, M.López-Martínez, M.Haber-Uriarte, T.Rodríguez-Estrella, M.J.Walker,: "Rethinking stratigraphy and site formation of the Pleistocene deposit at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Caravaca de la Cruz, Spain)." Quaternary Science Reviews 80: 19-199 (ISSN: 0277-3791).
213 D.C.Salazar-García, R.C.Power, A.Sanchis, V.Villavede, M.J.Walker,A.G.Henry: "Neanderthal diets in central and southeastern Mediterranean Iberia." Quaternary International 318: 3-18 (SSN: 1040-6182).
2012 M.J.Walker, M.V.López-Martínez, J.Ortega-Rodrigáñez, M.Haber-Uriarte, A.López-Jiménez, A.Avilés-Fernández, J.L-Polo Camacho, M.Campillo-Boj, J.García-Torres, J.S,Carrión-García, M.San Nicolas-del Toro, T.Rodríguez-Estrella: “The excavation of the buried articulated Neanderthal skeletons at Sima de las Palomas (Murcia, SE Spain).”  Quaternary International 259: 7-21 (ISSN: 1040-6182).
2011 M.J.Walker, J.Ortega, K.Parmová, M.V.López, E.Trinkaus: “Morphology, body proportions, and postcranial hypertrophy of a female Neandertal from the Sima de las Palomas, southeastern Spain” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108 (25) 10087-10091.
2011 M.J.Walker, J.Zapata, A.V.Lombardi, E.Trinkaus, “New evidence of dental pathology in 40,000 year old Neandertals” Journal of Dental Research 90: 428-432.
2011 M.J. Walker, J.Ortega Rodrigáñez, M.V.López Martínez, K.Parmová, E.Trinkaus: “Neandertal postcranial remains from the Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo, Murcia, southeastern Spain.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144: 505-515.
2010 M.J.Walker, A.V.Lombardi, J.Zapata, E.Trinkaus: “Neandertal mandibles from the Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo, Murcia, southeastern Spain.” American J.  Physical Anthropology 142: 261-272.
2009 M.J.Walker: “Long–term memory and Middle Pleistocene `Mysterians´.” Pp.75-84 in Beaune, F.L.Coolidge & T.Wynn (eds) Cognitive Archaeology And Human Evolution. New York, Cambridge University Press (ISBN 0521746116).
2009 G.R.Scott, L.Gibert: “The oldest hand-axes in Europe.” Nature 461: 82-85 (ISSN 0028-0836).
2008 M.J.Walker, J.Gibert, M.V.López, A.V.Lombardi, A.Pérez-Pérez, J Zapata, J.Ortega, T.Higham, A.Pike, J-L.Schwenninger, J.Zilhão, E.Trinkaus: “Late Neandertals in Southeastern Iberia: Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo, Murcia, Spain.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105 (52): 20631-20636  (ISSN 1091-6490).
2006 M.J.Walker, T.Rodríguez-Estrella, J.S.Carrión García, M.A.Mancheño Jiménez, J-L.Schwenninger,