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martes 19 enero 2021

Bertan > The Magdalenian pendants of the Praileaitz I cave(Deba) > Versión en Inglés: Who lived in Praileatz I
Who lived in Praileaitz I?

As we enter this cave today, crossing its different rooms and galleries, it is easy to imagine the scene in the Lower Magdalenian period, some 15,500 years ago: on the stone covered floor, a few instruments and remains of animals near the hearth at the entrance and various groups of black pendants scattered around the vestibule and the inner room.

What did all this mean?

Whoever inhabited this site must have come to it not only to carry out the same everyday tasks as his or her near neighbours. All the evidence seems to suggest that Ritual activities were also performed in this cave on the Deba, but what they consisted of we can only guess. Perhaps the people of the area would come here to find answers to their problems or concerns. Perhaps they came for advice.

The minds of our Cro-Magnon ancestors would have been filled with questions, just as ours are today.

119. On the other side of the mouth of Praileaitz I there are more caves among the crags of the Deba valley. © Xabi Otero
We know, however, that the site was abandoned one day around fifteen thousand years ago, when suddenly, the Praileaitz I cave suffered a radical change: a large part of the surrounding rock came away, falling to the ground just a few metres away from the hearth. A huge mass of rock, weighing several tons, crushed the food stored there and also one of the necklaces. One of the long pendants was broken in two.

We continue our work in what for us is a magical place. Thousands of years on, with painstaking care, using small knives and brushes, we are gradually digging up the earth and stones that have covered and concealed the site, trying to uncover every last move our distant ancestors made.

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