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Kiputz. A Prehistoric Abyss

During the last glaciation (110,000 to 10,000 years ago), the Cantabrian coast was a steppe, providing pasture for animals impossible to find in our present-day mountains: reindeer, woolly rhinoceroses, steppe bison, mammoths... giant creatures which coexisted with human beings but gradually disappeared as the climate grew warmer.

  • From 16th Novembre 2019 - 9 de Tuesday 2020
  • From Tuesday, 10:00-20:00.
  • Admission: 6 €

 

Kiputz. A Prehistoric Abyss
Kiputz. A Prehistoric Abyss
Kiputz. A Prehistoric Abyss

But how do we know these animals lived in our territory? The bones preserved over time give us clues to the climate and biodiversity of the last great winter.

Back then, the sea was about 18 kilometres further from the present-day coast, and what is today a maritime continental shelf was a steppe, often snow-covered, with thin vegetation, similar to Arctic countries.

For thousands of years, the Kiputz IX abyss (Mutriku, Gipuzkoa) has conserved the remains of Iberian Peninsula reindeer, red deer and bison, the majority from 20,000 years ago. The chasm was never inhabited by human beings, it was a natural trap where young and inexperienced animals met their end.

The most remarkable piece found in Kiputz IX is a virtually complete steppe bison (Bison priscus) skull, the only one in the whole Iberian Peninsula. It is among the best conserved examples of this species in western Europe.

The bison, an adult male weighing around 900kg, with an antler span of more than a metre, fell into the chasm and probably died of starvation.

The reproduction of the Altamira frieze portraying a large bison, in red and black, thus provides a reflection of a long-lost natural universe.

Organised by: San Telmo Museoa, Museo Altamira, Gordailua, Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi.

Curators: Pedro Castaños, Xabier Murelaga.

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All the activities (information in spanish)


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