Cave of the Angel, Spain – Institute for Field Research

This listing expired on November 1, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Lucena, CD, ES

Season: July 7, 2019 to August 25, 2019

Session Dates: Session I: July 7-August 9, 2019 Session II: July 24-August 25, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Fundación Instituto de Investigación de Prehistoria y Evolución Humana, Connecticut College, Institute for Field Research

Project Director:
Dr. Cecilio Barroso Ruiz

Project Description:

The Cave of the Angel is a unique, Acheulean era (1,500,000–150,000 years ago) site located in the Aras mountain range in southern Spain (Lucena, Cordoba). Since 2012, the Spanish Fundación Instituto de Invetigación de Prehistoria y Evolución Humana (FIPEH), founded by Dr. Barroso Ruiz, has coordinated various research initiatives focused on studying Quaternary period humans in Southern Spain. The site consists of a cave entrance, a rock shelter, and a large chasm. The rock shelter shows evidence of human occupation more than 400,000 years ago and contains faunal bones indicating human processing, a large hearth, and numerous lithic tools of different typologies. The cave entrance has a floor with two small openings connecting to a chasm 100 meters underneath it. The chasm reaches deep into the heart of the mountain and contains a cone of debris composed of ceramic, animal bones, human bones, lithic artifacts, rock, and sand. The controlled climate within the chasm — steady humidity and constant, cool temperature — has made it possible to isolate preserved DNA from the recovered remains.

Our research goal is to understand the life of Acheulean populations who inhabited the Southern Iberian Peninsula and the environment in which they lived. Excavations in the chasm have, so far, recovered remains related to post-mortem activities of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, including more than 600 Homo sapiens remains. Participants in this program will enjoy a unique opportunity to understand the environment and lifestyle of the populations who occupied southern Europe hundreds of thousands of years ago in a program that includes field survey, laboratory training, lectures from top experts in European prehistory, and field trips to sites of cultural and archeological importance in the region.

Period(s) of Occupation: Acheulean era

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Students must stay for the full duration of the session they have enrolled in.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodations are in shared rooms (4-6 beds) located in Municipal Dormitory (Residencia Municipal) in the town of Lucena. Pillows and sheets are provided. Rooms are equipped with AC. Bathrooms are shared, and each is equipped individual showers. The common areas are cleaned once a week by professional cleaners. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided 7 days a week at the residence. It is based on a Mediterranean diet. There will be special recipes for those who have dietary restrictions such as diabetes, allergies or gluten intolerance and vegetarians. Cost: Room and board is included in the tuition of the field school.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,535.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103

Los Angeles



United States

Phone: 4242091173

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