Institute of Archaeology


Excavations at Cova Gran, Spain

Cova Gran is a large rockshelter (more than 2,500 m2) located in the Northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. Given the large extension of sediments at Cova Gran, which began to be explored in 2004, the full extent of the archaeological stratigraphy is still unknown. The site contains a rich Upper Pleistocene sequence which includes Middle Palaeolithic, Early Upper Palaeolithic and Magdalenian levels, and also Holocene deposits.

Recent fieldwork has focused on the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transitional levels, which yield a very relevant sequence for the discussion of the Neanderthal extinction and the dispersion of modern humans throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

Related outputs

  • Martínez-Moreno, J., Mora, R. & de la Torre, I. (2008). La Cova Gran de Santa Linya i el poblament humà del vessant sud dels Pirineus al Plistocè superior i a l´Holocè. Tribuna d´Arqueologia 2007, 69-92.
  • Martínez-Moreno, J., Mora, R., de la Torre, I. (2010): The Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Cova Gran (Catalonia, Spain) and the extinction of Neanderthals in the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Human Evolution, 58: 211-226.
  • Benito-Calvo, A., Martínez-Moreno, J., Jordá, J., de la Torre, I. & Mora, R. (2009), Sedimentological and archaeological fabrics in Palaeolithic levels of the South-Eastern Pyrenees: Cova Gran and Roca dels Bous Sites (Lleida, Spain), Journal of Archaeological Science 36, pp. 2566-2577.


  • Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology