El Truchiro is one of the caves in the La Garma Archaeological Complex (Omoño, Ribamontán al Monte, Cantabria). The archaeological excavation of the deposits from this site yielded Chalcolithic and Mesolithic material, including a large number of marine and terrestrial molluscs. The second stratigraphic layer consists of a shell-midden in an excellent state of preservation sealed between two layers of speleothems. This well-preserved layer is formed mainly of marine gastropods (limpets and top shells) and terrestrial snails (Cepaea nemoralis). These species were gathered by ancient people on the coast and in the areas surrounding the cave. After being consumed the shells were discarded inside the cave. In addition, at the base of this layer one of the few Mesolithic inhumations in northern Spain was documented. The grave goods included shells of the marine molluscs Cerastoderma sp. and Trivia sp., species that are found on the north Spanish coast. This paper studies the archaeomalacological evidence in the sequence at El Truchiro from different points of view: taxonomy, taphonomy, technology, stratigraphy and spatial distribution.
Holocene, Mesolithic, Cantabrian Spain, La Garma, marine and terrestrial molluscs, food, personal ornaments.