The remains of bodies buried in the cave have been carbon dated to 4,683 years ago. This means the cave was a burial ground during the Chalcolithic era, the period after the Neolithic age also known as the Copper age.
The exhibition houses display cases showing some of the findings from the cave. It has a series of large panels showing what the cave was like and what the remains looked like when they were found. The cave paintings of stick figures are also shown, as is information about the Chalcolithic era, the time when archaeologists believe burials were first carried out away from where people were living. In addition the exhibition shows how the excavations were carried out and how the findings were then catalogued.
The exhibition is presented by the CIRNE Foundation in collaboration with Jávea Town Hall. The president of CIRNE, Enric Martínez, says the purpose of the exhibition is ‘to bring the cave down from the mountain’; to make its findings accessible as the cave is not easy to get to. There will be an educational workshop to show schools the remains and teach children how to make pottery using the methods employed almost five thousand years ago.
After June 30th the exhibition will move to the Archaeological Museum, where it will be set up in a small room that recreates the cave’s atmosphere. Archaeological work, meanwhile, is ongoing in the search for more information about the site, while a documentary is being put together to show all the stages of the three excavations funded by the CIRNE Foundation and a virtual tour of the cave is being prepared.
Although investigations are yet to be completed at the site, the results of DNA testing, currently being carried out at the University of Mainz in Germany, are eagerly awaited. It is hoped that these will provide more clues as to who is in the graves and whether this was a family burial ground or one for local dignitaries. Further digs are planned in the area in the hope of discovering more exciting finds of this kind.
The Mayor of Jávea, José Chulvi, believes the exhibition will be a valuable source of information about the prehistory of Jávea and an attraction for both locals and visitors.