For the better part of the last 3 decades excavations have been underway to learn more about our prehistory. In the caves outside of town, the remains of early humans have been discovered; some as old as 800,000 years. Most of the discoveries have been transferred to the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos.
Atapuerca, its prolific prehistoric discoveries aside, remains a small outpost. It was here where King Garcia of Nájera-Pamplona lost his life in a battle against his brother Ferdinand I of León on September 1st, 1054. The large stone marker in the field before town that marks his end; the locals refer to it as ‘el fin de rey’, or ‘the end of the king’.
From Atapuerca, the camino climbs upward into the Atapuerca mountains (actually a modest hill, not much more than 100m in gain) before descending again into Cardeñuela.