<< Previous Page

Pilar Acosta Martinez

1938 - 2006

Appreciation by
Leonardo Garcia Sanjuan

Professor Pilar Acosta Martinez (Tijola, Almeria, 1938 - Seville, 2006) obtained her first degree in philosophy and letters at the University of Granada in 1960, and her PhD from the same university in 1966. Between 1960 and 1962 she worked as assistant professor at the University of Granada. Later, between 1968 and 1975, she occupied various posts (associate professor, adjunct professor and tenured professor) at the University of La Laguna. In 1985 she moved to the University of Seville as tenured professor of Ethnology and Prehistory, a position that she occupied until 1981, when she was appointed to the Chair of Prehistory.

The vast research activity that Professor Acosta deployed all along her career centred fundamentally on such themes as post-Palaeolithic rock art, prehistoric religions, and the processes of neolithisation in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The results of these activities are well known to Spanish prehistorians: La Pintura Rupestre Esquemática (Schematic Rock Art, Salamanca, University of Salamanca, 1968); Excavaciones Arqueológicas en la Cueva de la Arena: Barranco Hondo, Tenerife (Archaeological Excavations at the Cave of la Arena: Barranco Hondo, Tenerife, Madrid, Council of the Casa de Colón, 1976); the Cave of la Dehesilla (Jerez de la Frontera); Las Primeras Civilizaciones Productoras de Andalucia Occidental (The First Farming Cultures of Western Andalucia, Jerez de la Frontera, CSIC, 1990); or Volume 1 (Prehistory, Madrid, 1986) of the History of Spain published throughout the 1980s by Gredos, as well as more than 150 articles and papers in conference proceedings.

During her career she directed or co-directed, together with her husband, Professor Manuel Pellicer Catalán, who also occupied the chair of Prehistory, as well as other colleagues, many excavations and fieldwork campaigns. Between them, they excavated the cave of Barranci Hondo (Tenerife, 1970), El Garcel (Almeria, 1973 and 1974), Arguamul (La Gomera, 1974), lithic workshops at Bir N'Zaran (Western Sahara, 1975), Cerro de la Chinchilla (Rioja, Almeria, 1975 and 1976), the cave of Chica de Santiago (Seville, 1976 and 1980), the cave of La Dehesilla (Cádiz, 1977 to 1980), La Morita (Seville, 1985) and Lebrija (Seville, 1985). She also co-directed, alongside Professor Pellicer Catalán a number of excavation campaigns carried out during the 1990s in the cave of Nerja (Málaga).

During the years of her professional employment at the universities of La Laguna and Seville, she directed a number of doctoral dissertations, including Rock Art Engravings of the Canary Islands (Dr Mauro Hernández Pérez, 1973), Open-Air Settlement in the Iberian Eneolithic (Dr Dimas Martín Socas, 1975), Analysis of the Artificial Caves of the Iberian Peninsula (Dr Encarnacíon Rivero Galán, 1985), Analysis of the Megalithic Complexes of south-eastern Spain (Dr Maria del Rosario Cruz-Auñón Briones, 1985), The Site of La Pijotilla (Badajos), A Study of Cultural Relationships (Dr Victor Hurtado Pérez, 1984) and Neolithic and Copper Age Habitats in Andalusia (Dr Regina Rodríguez Fernández, 1992), as well as a number of smaller theses and reports. She was also a director of the journal Spal and a member of of theses juries convened at the University of Seville and in other institutions.

Pilar Acosta was an active teacher in our University and left her human and professional imprint on the many students of prehistory and archaeology whom she promoted. All of us, members of the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, have fond memories of her great companionship and affability in her professional activities and in her teachings. Her memory is greatly alive amongst all of us.