||The First Populace
The evidence pointing
to the first presence of a populace in what is now Asturies situates them
around 100,000 years ago, a date which enables us to build an idea of the
culture then prevalent based on many materials found over a wide territorial
radius, mainly along the coast and in the central basin, and following valleys
in search of areas favourable to hunting, forraging and habitation. This was
between the lesser and mid paleolithic periods.
This populace consolidated itself throughout the mid paleolithic period(80,000
-35,000 BY), and the process may be studied thanks to materials found in caves,
along river basins and on beaches, with the first appearance of instruments
made from bones. It is, however, in the greater paleolithic (35,000 - 10,000
BY) when the presence of horno sapiens sapiens begins to leave important traces
in their occupation of caves and other shelters, in the form of large numbers
of fossil and bone tools, along with an artistic legacy of great importance
connected to that of other areas along the Cantabrian coast and in France.
Asturies is the most western point in Europe at which paleolithic art may be
found today, consisting of parietal themes based on animals and anthropomorphic
signs and depictions, a kinetic art of great brilliance.
The natural landscape in Asturies began to acquire its actual form at the end
of the glacial period, between the tenth and fourth milleniums, with the
establishment of the coastal line and the extension of the atlantic forest.
This was when the epipaleolithic cultures the Azilense and the Asturiense
appeared V the central and eastern coastal areas, a time of important cultural
changes in which art was reduced to domestic objects fashioned from bone, or
horn, especially in the form of rounded painted borders directly related to
those discovered by Piette in the Mas d'Azil, which disappeared during the
Asturiense period, the most characteristic implements surviving from this
culture being the so-called picos asturienses employed for the collection of
shellfish, as is testified by the remains of limpets, mussels and limpets which
have been found in abundance in the areas studied.