Pinares de Doñana

Natural areas

More than three hundred natural sites and nature reserves

The Sima Cave

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The cave is located in the Sierra Norte Natural Park.

This cavity of karstic origin, formed in Cambrian limestone, dates back to the Quaternary period. The Sima cave is a paleo-sinkhole that collected the runoff water and through whose interior a permanent water course flowed, causing the erosion of the rock and the expansion of the fissures and cracks to form galleries. Once the cave was formed, water continued to infiltrate from the outside causing calcite crystallisations. The entry of runoff water and its circulation through the caves and galleries caused the cavities to be filled with materials in which a great variety of fossilized flora and fauna have been found.

The Sima cave belongs to the Cazalla de la Sierra-Constantina karstic aquifer system. Works were carried out in its interior in the 1950s in order to take advantage of its groundwater. In later years the entrance to the cave became impassable, until it was restored in 2002.

The studies carried out on materials extracted from the interior of the Sima have resulted in a large number of findings of Quaternary fauna, such as a den of hyenas with the remains of their prey, wild bulls, aurochs, goats, wild boars and other animals. Although no human remains were found, there are indications that the cave was used by them, since remains of stone knives used to cut the throat and meat of prey have also been found.

Access to the interior of the cave is restricted (only possible for scientific and speleological activities, and in certain periods). The cave is located next to the town of Constantina, in the southwest corner of the La Morería neighborhood, one of whose streets is named after the Sima cave.

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