Ídolos del Museo Arqueológico Nacional

All Equal, All Different: Catalogue of idols from early farming societies at the National Archaeological Museum

Estimated timeframe: 2019–2020

Project leader: Ruth Maicas Ramos

Focusing on specific aspects gleaned from the direct examination of pieces known as “idols”, and bearing in mind the connections established between them, this study aims to interpret and offer detailed information on the substantial collection held at the MAN. The first step will be to revise the concept and characterisation of these objects, of which the MAN owns more than 400.

The majority of the prehistoric idols at the MAN pertain to the collection assembled by the Siret brothers in the late 19th and early 20th century in the south-east Iberian Peninsula. However, the museum also owns other pieces of great interest for the purpose of this study, such as the plaque idols from Granja Céspedes and Barbacena, phalange idols from Cerro de las Canteras, eye idols from the Cave of Juan Barbero, etc.


Characterisation of the Acheulean in the Manzanares Valley from the lithic collections of the National Archaeological Museum

Estimated timeframe: 2014-2016

Responsable: Juan Antonio Martos Romero, Susana Rubio Jara (Instituto de Evolución en África) y Joaquín Panera Gallego (Instituto de Evolución en África)

The intention is to increase knowledge about the technical and economic characteristics of the Acheulean in the environment of the Manzanares Valley, Madrid. Recent studies of the geomorphological framework of the region enable the lithic collections from the Pleistocene terraces of the Manzanares kept in the National Archaeological Museum to be reviewed with new approaches. In the first phase, it is proposed to determine whether there are Acheulean remains or not in the Santa Olalla collection from the 50s and 60s which could be attributed to what is called the Complex Terrace of Butarque. The second phase is focused on the sites of the Pérez de Barradas collection from the 20s located on the 25-30 m and +18/20 m stepped terraces of the Manzanares Valley. In both stages, the methodology will consist of techno-economic study of the lithic series. It is hoped to obtain a more accurate definition of the Acheulean in the region, while enhancing the collections of the National Archaeological Museum from a scientific and educational point of view at the same time.

Investigación en almacenes

Bibliometric approaches to the impact of the National Archaeological Museum’s prehistory collections on the discipline between 1990 and 2007

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Study of the research that has been carried out on the National Archaeological Museum’s prehistory collections, aimed at reconstructing the work they have carried out in the state of knowledge in the discipline in the last twenty years. It begins with a bibliometric approach, with the application of different indicators of activity and impact, providing quantifiable information about such activity. Finally, it is hoped to highlight the role the National Archaeological Museum and its collections have played nationally and internationally in prehistory research.

Yacimiento de El Garcel

Storage structures in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula in recent prehistory

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2014

Responsable: Mª Paz Román (Universidad de Almería), Ruth Maicas Ramos (MAN), Asunción Millán y Pedro Beneitez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Study of sites with negative structures from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. In the first phase, the small sites in the Vera basin were studied. In the second stage of the project, we concentrated on the El Garcel site in Antas, Almería, using materials conserved in the MAN’s Department of Prehistory and documents from the Siret Collection.
Although it is one of the sites most quoted in publications about the recent prehistory of the south-east peninsula, no in-depth study of it has yet been made. The general characteristics of the materials concerned, the distribution and relationship with the container where they were found, and capacity and proposed functionality of the 252 structures analysed will be published. It is also hoped to provide a new sequence for this site.