Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

Cau de les Guilles de Roses (Spain)

Dr. Jordi Serangeli

Location of the site

The Cau de les Guilles is an open air area between the mighty gneiss blocks at the southern slope of the Alberes mountains (eastmost part of the Pyrenees, Fig 1). It is protected from winds and from it, one can see the by of Roses and the sedimentational plains of the rivers Muga and Manól (Fig.2). 


Research history

The first prospections of this site took place in 1945 and 1946 and were conducted by Dr. Pere de Palol, Francesc Riuró and Miquel Oliva. A short excavation by Oliva followed in 1967. In the 1980s, Dr. Narcis Soler examined the lithic artifacts of the site. 

In September 2006, the excavations were continued by Dr. Joaquim Soler and Dr. Jordi Serangeli from the Universität Tübingen and the Institut de Patrimoni Cultural der Universitat de Girona (Fig.3).

Stratigraphy and finds

All layers carrying finds uncovered so far have been disturbed by bioturbation processes and contained plastic finds, Late Bronze age ceramics and Magdalénien stone artefacts. Bones and charcoal appear to not have been preserved. 

The stone artifacts (backed knifes, end scrapers, burins, drills and numerous retouched burin pieces, Fig.4) provide evidence for settlement during the Magdalénien (15,000-10,000 BP). Exactly dating the site has not been possible yet. 

Current research goals

The excavations at Cau de les Guilles were continued due to the following reasons: 

  1. Due to the proximity to today's and the palaeolithic shore line, the site may provide information on the use of marine ressources. 
  2. Due to its location at the eastmost Pyrenees, a region connecting the Iberian peninsula and France, the site may provide evidence for trans-regional contacts in the Upper palaeolithic. 
  3. It is located between the valleys of the Empordà and the Rosselló, where no other Magdalénien sites are known. 
  4. The stone artifacts possibly date the site as older than other Magdalénien sites such as Serinyà and Corberes. 
  5. Roses as a community has been very involved with and supportive of archaeological research (see Museu de la Ciutadella, Fundació Roses Historia i Natura). The excavations and following publications will extend the historical/archaeological attractions in Roses to the stone ages. 


Miquel OLIVA i PRAT, Tessela Arqueológica, Revista de Gerona, 47, 1969, pp. 11-14

Lluís PERICOT i GARCIA, La labor de la comisaria provincial de excavaciones arqueológicas de Gerona durante los años 1942 a 1948, Informes y Memorias, 27, Ministerio de Educación Nacional. Comisaria General de excavaciones arqueológicas, Madrid, 1972, 182 pp., 55 làms

Narcís SOLER i MASFERRER, Les indústries del Paleolític Superior en el Nord de Catalunya, Tesi de Doctorat, Universitat de Barcelona, 1986, 1286 pp., 438 figs.

The excavation team 2006

Joaquim Soler, Jordi Serangeli, Jörg Götze, Xavier Niell, Karin Pfister, Raquel Pujadas, Sònia Ramió, Laura Romero, Alba Solés (Fig. 5).