At 6,000 years old, the Gava Prehistoric Mines is the oldest mining area with galleries in Europe. The mines were dedicated to the extraction of variscite (or cal·laïta in Catalan), a semiprecious mineral used to make jewelry.
Apart from the complex mining network, the site is known for archaeological remains that have been found there, which reflect the socioeconomic and cultural context of the Neolithic era in the Iberian Peninsula. Stone, bone and wood tools (metals were still unkown at that time), ceramic fragments and remnants of building materials are examples of these Neolithic remains.
One of the most outstanding objects is the Venus of Gavà, an anthropomorphic figure made of black ceramic. It is an incomplete piece and broken into several fragments, from which one can make out a female form, featuring a proportional and symmetrical structure, sun-shaped eyes and the upper limbs resting on a prominent belly. Venus de Gavà could be the image of a goddess of fertility and is one of the few religious Neolithic representations in existence in the Peninsula.
The artistic demonstrations (Venus and the jewelry) and the complexity of the mines show that the inhabitants of the area were an advanced society with strong religious beliefs.
The Archeological Park of the Gavà Mines offers educational centres a singular experience to immerse yourself in prehistory. Above all, you will have the opportunity to enter a reproduction of a variscite mine.
Parc Arqueològic Mines de Gavà
C. de Jaume I, 7
08850 Gavà (Barcelona)