More questions than answers: the singular animal deposits from Camino de Las Yeseras (Chalcolithic, Madrid, Spain)

Corina LIESAU, Arantxa DAZA, Laura LLORENTE & Arturo MORALES

en Anthropozoologica 48 (2) - Pages 277-286

Published on 27 December 2013

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animals in Funerary space

Among its many features of strictly domestic nature, the ditched enclosure site of Camino de las Yeseras incorporates a series of singular faunal deposits that do not seem to represent consumption refuse. These deposits that appear in strategic places of the site often feature very biased representations of the animals’ skeletons . In addition, considerable time and effort appears to have been put into the correct placement of these remains. In one instance this meant covering with red ochre the bones themselves. Combined, these lines of evidence reveal a treatment of the carcasses that goes well beyond what one would attribute to utilitarian slaughtering and consumption, pointing instead to some kind of ritual. Some features of this presumably ritual processing exhibit parallels with other regions of Spain, but the sheer faunal diversity recorded in this case renders Camino de las Yeseras an exceptional case in the Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula.


Fauna, Chalcolithic, ditched enclosure, ritual deposits, Iberian peninsula.

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint