The wooden assemblage recovered from Hoyo de los Herreros cave (Reocín, Cantabria, Spain) in northern Iberia has provided an exceptional opportunity to enlarge our knowledge about perishable material culture from a unique medieval context. This case study enhances the information related to ephemeral material culture associated with the occupation of caves during the Middle Ages in northern Iberia, and the role played by wooden crafts in relation to activities performed within these dark and subterrain areas. All the wooden objects have been systematically studied and dated, combining wood analysis and morpho-technological study with the examination of entomological remains recovered from one of the objects which was in an advanced state of decay. The three bowls and a pointed twig recovered inside the cave were probably related to two different episodes of use, the first dated between 9th to 11th centuries CE, and the second between 11th and 12th centuries CE. It was possible to identify different stages of their chaîne-opératoires and the analysis of different aspects of their lifecycle, in tandem with the study of medieval wood crafting, specifically lathe-turning.
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Eva Panagiotakopulu (Manager)School of Geosciences