Today we look back, really back in time, more than what we are used to in this blog, to settle in that magical time of the great natural landscapes and huge beasts that were the kings of the planet: prehistory. More specifically, the era of the Cretaceous, the last period of the Mesozoic era, some 145 million years ago.
We speak specifically of the Cretaceous park in the Pallars Jussà, along with the museum of the Conca, included within the network of archaeological museums in Catalonia. An integrative system that has allowed touristic, scientific and heritage development of the area, taking advantage of in situ deposits for establishing museology information (although not experiential, not yet).
Posa: The Rays’ Site
Posa’s site of fossils is located on the Boixols road, just off Isona, taking the fork to the Sanctuary of Posa.
This one, specifically, configures a site consisting of more than 2,000 food marks (holes) left by prehistoric rays. That is, the way it was left when this animal was digging a little on the ground in search of food, in the water, of course. We are talking about a maritime area that is currently located among the mountains of Montsec, in the Pallars Jussà, 70 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous, as we have said. On the ground you can also see, as it was the sea floor, small crab burrows and other animals, as well as the marks left by sea currents. For many years, however, it was believed that these holes were the giant strides of dinosaurs, and we could even see studies confirming these alleged footprints with different types of dinosaurs of the time.
The soil, if we look closely, is full of holes, some of them semicircular. Finally the studies showed that they were not produced by dinosaurs, but their creators were the rays making holes while looking for food. In fact, nowadays, in sea areas, when the water moves away, we can see the same type of formation. It is said that like this one, of Cretaceous age, there are only two more in the world, one in Antarctica and another in one of the Nordic states in the United States.
The Museum of The Conca Dellà
Another interesting stop in this prehistoric journey through the Pallars Jussà is the Museum of Conca Dellà in Isona. Integrated within the network of Museums and Archaeological Sites in Catalonia, it aims to integrate and energize the people, using the remains, archaeological and heritage material of the Pallars area. In this space you can see different remains found in the territory, as in the case of the reproduction of the so-called Rhabdodon of Isona, a dinosaur that lived in this area. You can learn about its life and diet in the museum as well as playing some interactive games.
We can also find, among other things, a small historical journey through the life of the region, as well as a video about Prehistoric life in Catalonia, and its main sites. All this is done uniting each of the sites and archaeological areas to visit, on a route through the Cretaceous of the Pallars, a trip that can be perfectly done in one day and that shows us the life and knowledge of prehistory in a different way.
Guiomar Sánchez Pallarès
Translated by Laura Macià