The earliest basketry in southern Europe: Hunter-gatherer and farmer plant-based technology in Cueva de los Murciélagos (Albuñol).
Plant material culture can offer unique insights into the ways of life of prehistoric societies; however, its perishable nature has prevented a thorough understanding of its diverse and complex uses. Sites with exceptional preservation of organic materials provide a unique opportunity for further research. The burial site of Cueva de los Murciélagos in southern Iberia, uncovered during 19th-century mining activities, contained the best-preserved hunter-gatherer basketry in southern Europe, together with other unique organic artifacts associated with the first farming communities, such as sandals and a wooden hammer. We present 14 C dates for the perishable artifacts ( = 76), situating the assemblage between the Early and Middle Holocene (c. 7500 to 4200 cal BCE). Our integrated analysis includes raw material determination and technological and chrono-cultural contextualization of this unique and important set of materials.