In the beginnings of february a the new 2015 spanish commemorative coin started its circulation. This is already the sixth coin of the annual serie dedicated to spanish world UNESCO heritage places, you can see the whole list here. This coin is dedicated to the Altamira Caves, located in the spanish region of Cantabria.
In the same way that happens to the rest of coins belonging to this serie, the drawings on the tails and edge of coins is still the same. In the edge the inscription 2 * * appears, repeated six times and alternatively oriented up and down. While the tails shows the facial value of the coin and the european map.
Regarding the heads of the coin, in the center of the coin, a bison is drawn, a representative cave paint from the «Altamira Caves». Over that drawing, in circular writing and uppercase, the inscription ESPAÑA is shown and a bit under and on the right the sign of the mint (Coronated M). In the lower part it shows the mintage year, 2015. And as well as the rest of the 2 euro commemorative coins, in the circular exterior part of the coin, rounding all inscriptions the twelve stars from the European Union are drawn.
There will be 8 million units for circulation from the mintage of this coin. Although there is not any official information yet, it is most probably that a proof edition of 10.000 will be released at a price of 19.01 €, as well as it happened with previous coins from this serie.
As a curiosity it should be pointed out that this is not the first time that a coin commemorates the Altamira Caves, in fact, exactly the same drawing was already included in the 50 pesetas coin from 1994 characteristic from the Cantabria region:
Details of the 50 pesetas coin mintage:
- Weight: 5,6 grams
- Diameter: 20,5 milimeters
- Composition: Copper-nickel
- Mintage: 3.002.000
- Year: 1994
As we said, in this coin the Bison image is drawn on the tails of this coin along with the facial value and the mint mark. While in the heads one of the main romanic monuments of Cantrabia is shown, The colegiata of Santa Juliana of Santillana del Mar. In order to obtain more details of this coin you can check it out in our catalogue: here.
Now here some information regarding the Altamira Caves and its discovering: The Altamira Cave is a natural cave in rocks that preserves one of the most pictorial and artistic cycles of the prehistory. It is located in the village of Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, at about two kilometers of the city center, in a field that give it its current name.
From its discovery by a hunter in 1868 and its posterior study by Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, it has been excavated and studied by the main prehistorian researchers of each era once its belonging to the paleolithic was admitted. It is the most extraordinary discovery of the paleolithic cave art, and its most spectacular manifestation. Bisons, horses, deers, hands and mysterious signs, drawn and carved, are the cave inhabitants expressions, being the bison the most characteristic and know one.
The carvings and drawings of the cave belong mainly to the Magdaleniense and Solutrense period, and some other, to the Gravettian and beginning of the Aurignacian period, the latter following the uranium series tests. This way it can be assured that the cave was used during several periods, summing up to 22.000 years of occupation, from around 35.600 years up to 13.000 years ago, when the main entrance of the cave was sealed by a raze.
The style in most of its arts is framed in the named “french-cantabric school”, characterized by the realism on the represented figures. It contains polychrome drawings, carvings, black, red and ochre paintings representing animals, anthropomorphic figures, abstract drawings and non figurative ones. Regarding its polychrome ceiling it has obtained qualifications such as the «Sistine Chapel» of the cave art.
In 1985 it was declared UNESCO human heritage. And in 2008 an extension of this nomination was made to include other 17 caves from regions of basque country, Asturias and Cantabria itself.
If you wanna know some more about the Altamira Cave you can check out its website: www.museodealtamira.mcu.es
The rest of 2 Euro Spain Commemorative coins belonging the UNESCO human heritage serie are: