As daughter of the author and student of archaeology it is an honour and a pleasure for me to write this preface.
The discovery of the Pileta Cave has had a great impact on the state of knowledge over the Cantabrian style in the south of Europe. The caves importance resides in the quantity and diversity of the wall paintings and engravings found there, clear signs of it being occupied at intervals from the Aurignacion in the Upper Palaeolithic right through to the Bronze Age. The evidence from the findings of worked stones confirm this intermittent occupation. Inside the cave we find examples of figurative paintings in the French and Cantabrian style alongside Palaeolithic engravings and schematic art (Neolithic) from various periods, Levantine, Iber-Saharian, etc.
If we look at its geographic location we see that the cave is situated in a strategic point in the Guadiaro Valley, one that permitted the settlers of the Pileta to obtain the materials necessary for survival without having to go too far. It also lies along a natural pass between Gibraltar and the inner mainland. These considerations have led to the hypothesis that the cave was used primarily as a place of sanctuary, a conclusion that seems to be supported by discoveries of lesser importance found in the surrounding area.
Despite the deterioration caused by the activity of prehistoric man, the beauty of the rock formations found in the cave is almost boundless. There are still virginal areas which astound even the most experienced geologists.
Continuing with the theme of geology, I have to mention the merits of my great grandfather and grandfather, who were pioneers of caving and potholing in Andalucia.
After a century in the custody of the Bullón family, the rock paintings in the Pileta are amongst the best preserved in the world. The scientific community testifies to this and it can be appreciated by any visitor who cares to compare it with other, similar caves. The microclimate found inside the cave has been undisturbed by the strictly controlled regime of visits. Evidence of this are the colonies of bats which still inhabit its interior, something that is rarely seen in other caves open to the public.
In this book the author relates the story of his family and their intimate relationship with the Pileta Cave, focusing on those events that have affected the cave, either directly or indirectly, and the many discoveries that have taken place there. Everything found in its pages is no more than the knowledge passed on from one generation to another, and I, as the authors daughter, can assure that this is so. Now the time has come for my father to transmit to all who may be interested, just what the task of preserving something of such great importance to humanity has involved.
Let me conclude by saying that, because of the many different cultures whose remains have been found there, the Pileta Cave was, and still is, a point of reference for the study of the worlds prehistory.
Rosario Bullón Almagro (Graduate in History, Malaga University)
Other Books Bullón Giménez, José:
Other Books Arqueología: