10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Micromorphological Insight into the Cave Sediments of Cadaval Cave, Tomar, Portugal.

Opeyemi Adewumi1,2,3, Luiz Oosterbeek1,3,4, Josep Vallverdú i Poch5,6, Mário Quinta-Ferreira1,2, Pierluigi Rosina1,3,4, Telmo Pereira1,7,8, and Sara Garcês1,3,4
Opeyemi Adewumi et al.
  • 1Centro de Geociências, Portugal
  • 2Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
  • 3Instituto Terra e Memória, Mação, Portugal
  • 4Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, Portugal
  • 5IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, C/Escorxador s/n, 43003 Tarragona, Spain.
  • 6Área de Prehistoria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Avenida de Catalunya 35, 43002 Tarragona, Spain
  • 7Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa. Palácio dos Condes do Redondo, R. de Santa Marta 56, 1169-023 Lisboa.
  • 8UNIARQ, Centro de Arqueologia da Universidade de Lisboa. Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa, Alameda da Universidade, 1600-214, Lisboa.

Cadaval cave is located in a karstic canyon of the Nabão River, in the right margin of the Tagus River basin, municipality of Tomar, Centre of Portugal. The site encompasses a long stratigraphic sequence from present days to, at least, the Middle Palaeolithic. Major excavations were made during the 1980’s and restarted in 2019 under the scope of the FCT funded project - Moving tasks across shapes: the agro-pastoralists spread from and into the Alto Ribatejo (MTAS), (PTDC/EPH-ARQ/4356/2014).The Holocene sequence has three main sedimentary units: Layer E (without human occupation), Layer D (with Late early to Middle Neolithic necropolis) and Layer C (with a Late Neolithic necropolis). Because of the lack of detailed geoarchaeological studies, the process of deposition and modification of sedimentary layers remains in question, this being very important to better interpret natural vs human dynamics, including site formation processes. For instance, Layer E is supposed to correspond to an earlier Holocene stage (Greenlandian), a period in which other caves from the region have dwelling and funerary occupations. This can be related to the low demographic density at the time, but also to the roof collapse event, an idea reinforced by the presence of some Middle Neolithic burials on the top of some large slabs. Nevertheless, a better characterization of its formation and the degree of anthropic impact in the diagenetic process will allow for a clearer interpretation of this and other situations.The main objective of the first author`s ongoing PhD project is to characterize the Late Pleistocene and Holocene sedimentary processes and the site formation processes of the archaeological record in the basin of the Tagus River, namely assessing its anthropic component.  For this, a detailed geoarchaeological investigation is being carried out in several sites, including Cadaval cave, giving particular emphasis to the use of micromorphology.

Keywords: Micromorphology, Cave sediments, Neolithic, Stratigraphy, Holocene.

How to cite: Adewumi, O., Oosterbeek, L., Vallverdú i Poch, J., Quinta-Ferreira, M., Rosina, P., Pereira, T., and Garcês, S.: Micromorphological Insight into the Cave Sediments of Cadaval Cave, Tomar, Portugal., 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-262, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-262, 2022.