This paper presents and discusses the results of the studies of pollen and micro-mammal remains associated with the human burial in El Mirón Cave, dated in the Lower Magdalenian. The sedimentological integrity of the deposit has been confirmed through its comparison with the penecontemporaneous level in other parts of the cave. From the environmental point of view, this unit, like others of the same age in northern Spain, attests a very cold and arid climate. However, the pollen study reveals that it can be differentiated by the large quantity of Chenopodiaceae pollen (occasionally in the form of aggregates of grains), exclusively in the funerary context. In the discussion, various hypotheses are considered (funerary offering, food, to hygienize the grave or medicinal use) to interpret this over-representation. Although all the possibilities remain open, the most likely is thought to be the direct deposit of flowers at the time of the burial, either as a ritual element or for a more practical and hygienic purpose.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.