The cave of El Toll (Moià) is placed into the marine limestone rock layer from Eocene period. It was originated by the underground stream of spring Mal, in the high course of river Calders. Further, the stream filled the cavity with sediments, mainly the wider south gallery. In addition, the entrance of the gallery south was blocked some thousands of years ago by a landslide.
At present, the water flow is less and usually just through galleries beneath instead of through the gallery south. The cave of El Toll is 1148 m length, the longest in Bages district.
The picture shows the entrance west to the cave of El Toll which allowed to discover the paleontologic and archaelogical remains in 1952. The entrance follows with a long and narrow gallery until to get a big internal room. In this large room, a big neolithic ceramic pot was found. The pot was too big to pass through the narrow gallery. Therefore, the cave of El Toll should’ve had another entance, likely blocked at present.
The discover pushed a hard-working dig of the gallery south from the inside to the light. Due to the chance that the gallery south was closed some thousands of years ago by a landslide, it perfectly maintained the remains of animals and humans that once lived there. The site of El Toll is really remarkable by the bones of Quaternary animals, from Würm I glaciation (100.000 years) to present and the archaeological remains that have been discovered here. While there is still a lot of sediment to dig, 35 species of mammals that include the lion of the caves (Panthera spelaea), the bison (Bison priscus), the wild bull (Bos primigenius), the horse (Equus caballus), the red deer (Cervus elaphus), the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus and the rhinoceros of Merck (Stephanorhinus mercki)) have been recovered.
Most of these species are extinct, at least in Europe or in wild state. The study of bones from El Toll and Les Toixoneres depicts the rich fauna that inhabited Europe one hundred thousands years ago. The archaelogical findings are human bones and tools, some of them from middle Paleolithic -the oldest 50.000 years before present- and most of them from Neolithic.
The cave of El Toll is partially opened to tourism. The findings from the excavations campaigns in the site of El Toll are displayed in the Museum of Archeology and Paleontology of Moià.
[photo Jordi Badia]