Pottery with ramiform-anthropomorphic decoration from El Portalón de Cueva Mayor site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos) and the globalized symbolic world of the first Neolithic

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At the Holocene site of El Portalón at the Cueva Mayor in the karstic system of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), located in the northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula, we found a Neolithic ceramic fragment with a very unique iconography, linking the inhabitants of this zone to populations in the peninsular Mediterranean and to other sedentary populations in Italy and Germany, which is a novel finding. Accordingly, we reflect on the creation of Early Neolithic symbolism in Europe and its cross-border circulation. Throughout their development, ramiform-anthropomorphic representations have been multiplied in very diverse designs and mediums, a fact that allows us to also reflect on a ceramic vessel found in another gallery at the Cueva Mayor, the Galería del Sílex, which possesses the same type of iconography. We suggest that the regional entities of the European Neolithic maintain strong alliances and a certain tendency towards symbolic globalization.
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