Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria

C. Bailén, s/n, 39004 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Simona Bertolaso



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Cantabria Prehistory and Archaeology Museum conserves all the artefacts and remains recovered by archaeological excavations in the region. It therefore has collections of stone and bone objects from all the decorated caves, such as La Garma, Altamira, El Castillo and El Pendo.

The Museum was founded in the early twentieth century with the material collected mainly by J. Carballo. It was initially located in Sobrellano Palace in Comillas, and officially opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1926. Its collections have increased each year with the artefacts of all ages recovered by archaeological excavations in Cantabria. However, the specialisation of regional archaeology in Palaeolithic sites has led to this period of prehistory being represented by a large sample of objects.

The museum is divided into two parts: Prehistory and History. The first part is given the largest exhibition space. It can be visited from different viewpoints: on one hand, the evolution in stone tools and therefore material culture and technical process can be appreciated, while on the other, a selection of the main collections from caves in the region, and the periods each one represents, can be studied. The greatest importance is given to the Palaeolithic, but other prehistoric periods and ancient History, particularly the Roman Age and the Middle Ages, are also exhibited.

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