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Smuggler's Cave

Archaeologically the site is rich and has yielded assemblages from a variety of periods. About 20 meters north of the entrance of the cave there is an engraving of unknown age (Roche and Jodin 1966). The engraving (see figure 6), which is about 60 cm high, depicts a person with extended arms and fingers. Similar engravings are known from the Atlas Mountains to the south. The dating of the figure is uncertain, but is not thought to be much older than 2 to 3 centuries BC (Roche and Jodin 1966).

In the cave itself, the first layer yielded mixed material including “recent” burials and Berber pottery (Souville 1973; Roche 1963). Near the entrance of the cave under numerous blocks of collapsed cave roof there is a chalcolithic / Late Neolithic layer with campaniform vases of the Camora type (Daugas 2002; Jodin 1965; Souville 1973; Nehren 1992; Roche 1976) (figure 7 and 8).

Below this level there is an “in situ” Neolithic deposit with a well-preserved hearth and postholes. The associated industry also belongs to the Campaniform Neolithic (Roche 1976; Jodin 1965). There is mention in the literature of material that can be associated with the Middle Neolithic and the Early Neolithic (Daugas 2002), but its precise provenience within Contrebandiers Cave is uncertain.

The material includes cardial ware and ceramics that are compared to material found at El Kiffen and Skhirat. The fact that ceramics belonging to the Cardial culture are present is a recent finding. Previously it was thought that the Cardial culture only occurred around the region of Tanger in Northern Morocco. Now, however, the presence of this pottery has been attested and dated (see table 1) in Contrebandier Cave, and El Harhourha II. 


Lithic and other material from the Neolithic include backed bladelets, a geometric, endscrapers, a polished axe, a grooved polishing stone, ostrich eggshell, and a pierced schist pendulum (figure 9 and 10).

content provided by Utsav Schurmans from the Rapport D'Operations Pour l'Année 2006

The Upper Paleolithic ->

History of Excavation The Stratigraphy DatesThe Neolithic Upper Paleolithic Middle Paleolithic Fauna Hominids