casa Montero
Casa Montero CSIC CCHs
Fauna and bone industry

The bone remains found at Casa Montero are very few in number compared to the lithic remains. Nonetheless, they allowed a list of fauna to be drawn up that agrees with the finds made at other Neolithic sites of Spain’s Southern Meseta.

Wild macrofauna were represented by deer remains, and domestic animals by those of ovicaprids, sheep, goats and bovids. Ten remains of pig or wild boar were found, but it is not known whether these animals were wild or domestic.

The remains of meso- and microfauna (rabbit, hare, mouse, hedgehog) were also present. Eighteen bird remains were also collected, belonging to ducks, swallows and sparrows. Molluscs from the river were represented by two remains of water snails(Theodoxus fluviatilis) and one of a river clam (Unio anodonta).

This small list of fauna shows a closer connection with the production of bone tools than with food. Indeed, a large number of the bone remains identified had been worked or were clearly connected with bone industry. The latter was represented by 34 pieces, including 25 rings and bone shafts cut transversally to produce rings. In addition, five pointed objects, two bevelled tools, and two perforated mollusc shells were found. Nearly all this bone industry shows the use of red pigment.

The most important feature of these rings, which were made from femurs and antlers, is the polishing that some show and the internal smoothing performed by scraping.  Finally, 17 ring matrices were found in the initial phases of these objects. The production of rings in this mining context questions the validity of the traditional view that such objects had an ornamental function.

Bone rings in different stages of production
Photo: José Latova
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