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Symbolism in prehistoric extremadura: a small zoomorphic figure in the natural monument "Cuevas de Fuentes de León" (Fuentes de León, Badajoz).
Elena Garrido Fernández  1, 2, 3@  , Beatriz Gavilán  4, 5, *@  , Hipólito Collado  6, *@  , José Ramón Bello  6, *@  
1 : Grupo de Investigación “Territorio y Poder desde la Prehistoria a la Edad Media” (PAIDI HUM 838). Universidad de Huelva
Calle Dr. Cantero Cuadrado, 6, 21004 Huelva -  Espagne
2 : Centro de Estudios para el Medio Ambiente y la Cultura  (CEMAC)
C/ Calvo Sotelo S/N, CP: 06280, Fuentes de León (Badajoz). -  Espagne
3 : Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología. Universidad de Sevilla.
Universidad de Sevilla, Calle Doña María de Padilla, s/n, 41004 Sevilla -  Espagne
4 : Departamento de Historia, Geografía y Antropología. Facultad de Humanidades. Universidad de Huelva.
Calle Dr. Cantero Cuadrado, 6, 21004 Huelva -  Espagne
5 : “Territorio y Poder desde la Prehistoria a la Edad Media” (PAIDI HUM 838). Universidad de Huelva.
Calle Dr. Cantero Cuadrado, 6, 21004 Huelva -  Espagne
6 : Consejería de Cultura e Igualdad. Dirección General de Bibliotecas, Museos y Patrimonio Cultural. Junta de Extremadura
* : Auteur correspondant

Hereby, we present the finding of a small zoomorphic figure in baked clay found in the archaeological excavations carried out in Cueva del Agua in the 2016 campaign, inside the Natural Monument "Cuevas de Fuentes de León" (Fuentes de León, Badajoz); this piece deserves an in-depth analysis at the level of species, style and archaeological context, as well as a comparative examination with analogous pieces located in the same geographical area that allow to translate interpretations about the creative societies of this type of material culture during the Recent Prehistory in the Iberian Peninsula.


The few zoomorphic figures from the Iberian Peninsula have not been the subject of an in-depth study, both in terms of their description and characteristics and in the contexts in which they have appeared. The figure that occupies us is incomplete, conserving only the rear or posterior part of a quadruped animal, whose extremities are broad and short, showing between them an extension as a possible tail. On its internal side, there is a longitudinal incised line between the extremities of the animal. It is an element of considerable size (82.36 mm of maximum conservation length, 56.21 mm in its area of greater width and 36.48 mm in its narrowest area), resulting therefore a movable object made to be placed and / or exposed.

Geographically, chronologically and stylistically there are some pieces with similar characteristics to the Fuentes de León´s zoomorphic with which it is possible to draw parallels. The figurines or independent clays figures are quite scarce representations and geographically, they are concentrated in the southwest of Iberian Peninsula, especially in portuguese zone; among others, we can find elements with common characteristics in the sites of Vila Nova de Sao Pedro, Perdigôes, Leceia, Porto Torrao in Ferrerira do Alentejo and in Extremadura settlement of La Pijotilla (Badajoz), which cover a chronology comprised between the Neolithic and Chalcolithic.

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