27 January 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

“Unprecedented” Phoenician necropolis found in southern Spain

A 4th or 5th-century B.C Phoenician necropolis has been found at Osuna in Southern Spain. A well-preserved underground limestone vault necropolis, where the Phoenicians living in the Iberian peninsula buried their dead, was discovered during water utility upgrades.

Council workers have found a well-preserved necropolis from the Phoenician era with at least eight subterranean limestone burial vaults and a staircase.

Archaeologists said the “unprecedented” Phoenician-Carthaginian cemetery. Such sites are normally found in coastal areas rather than so far inland, they say.

It is a unique find because the only comparable necropolises that have been unearthed so far are coastal, dotting the area around the ancient Phoenician colony of Cádiz. Osuna is inland, about 55 miles east of Seville.

Preliminary surveys have so far turned up eight burial vaults as well as staircases and areas that are thought to have served as atriums. These were elite graves, and unprecedented in what would have been practically the hinterlands of Phoenician Spain.

Phoenician-Punic necropolis discovered in Osuna, Spain. Facebook.com/Osuna Municipality
Phoenician-Punic necropolis discovered in Osuna, Spain. Facebook.com/Osuna Municipality

The lead archaeologist, Mario Delgado, described the discovery as very significant and very unexpected. “To find a necropolis from the Phoenician and Carthaginian era with these characteristics – with eight well tombs, atriums, and staircase access – you’d have to look to Sardinia or even Carthage itself,” he said.

“We thought we might find remains from the imperial Roman age, which would be more in keeping with the surroundings, so we were surprised when we found these structures carved from the rock – hypogea [subterranean vaults] – perfectly preserved beneath the Roman levels.”

Rosario Andújar, the mayor of Osuna, said the find had already prompted a re-examination of the area’s history.

The mayor said that while more research needed to be done, the luxurious nature of the necropolis suggested it had been built for those at “the highest level” of the social hierarchy.

Excavation work is currently underway in order to reach the ground levels of a possible atrium, officials said.

The Phoenicians were amongst the greatest Mediterranean traders from approximately 1,500 to 600 BC. Based on archaeological remains, the consensus now is that colonisation began around 800, when settlements were founded along the south coast of the peninsula. They settled southern Spain, not long after the founding of Phoenicia’s greatest colony, Carthage.

They set to work exploiting the region’s rich and untapped deposits of tin, gold, and silver and expanding their trade networks. The trade of metals and consumer goods (fish, textiles) made the Phoenician settlements of what is now Andalusia enormously prosperous. Archaeologists believe that the rich tombs found on the coast were built for the shipping dynasties that ran Phoenician commerce.

The Spanish town of Osuna came to the spotlight when it became the location for parts of the fifth season of HBO series, Game of Thrones.

Cover Photo: Andalucía regional government

Banner
Related Post

The sword, thought to be a replica, turned out to be an authentic 3000-year-old Bronze Age sword

22 January 2023

22 January 2023

A sword in Chicago’s Field Museum that was previously thought to be a replica has been revealed to be an...

The Half of the Rare Oil Lamp Found in Jerusalem May be in Budapest

9 May 2021

9 May 2021

We had recently reported on a grotesque lamp found in Jerusalem. The other half of the oil lamp, which is...

Digs at Turkey’s Seyitömer mound reveals thousands of artworks

20 March 2022

20 March 2022

Approximately 14,500 artifacts have been unearthed during rescue excavations carried out over 33 years at Seyitömer Mound in Turkey’s western...

During roadwork in Oregon, a woolly mammoth tusk was discovered

21 June 2021

21 June 2021

A 12,000-year-old woolly mammoth tusk was discovered beneath the street by crews rerouting a gas line in Corvallis, Oregon. “Whenever...

Archaeologists found 5 unique sculptures representing the Kakatiya art style in Siddipet

19 July 2021

19 July 2021

13th-century statues were found near a temple tank in the Siddipet district in the northern province of Telangana, India. On...

Archeologists unearth largest rare wooden “Haniwa” Statue in Japan

10 December 2022

10 December 2022

The remains of a 3.5-meter-tall wooden “haniwa” statue have been discovered at one of the “kofun” ancient burial mounds that...

Falaj al Misfah: Working for a thousand years

26 September 2021

26 September 2021

The village of Al Misfah Abriyeen is known for its lush oasis, magnificent orchards, and year-round water source, the ‘aflaj.’...

3D virtual reconstruction of the Celtic city gate

2 May 2022

2 May 2022

A new 3D virtual reconstruction of the Celtic gate has been made in Staffelberg, in the German state of Bavaria....

The unknown importance of Göllü Dağ on the route of the first humans’ Transition from Africa to Europe

4 October 2021

4 October 2021

The researches conducted in Göllü Dağ and its surroundings, located within the borders of Niğde province in Central Anatolia, and...

Turkey’s Urartian Altıntepe Castle transforms into open museum

25 May 2022

25 May 2022

Altıntepe Castle, one of the most important centers of the Urartians and the Eastern Roman Empire, is now set to...

Iraq’s historic Arch of Ctesiphon undergoes restoration work

28 November 2021

28 November 2021

Iraq’s Arch of Ctesiphon, the world’s largest brick-built arch, is having restoration work to return it to its former splendour,...

Archaeologists unearth human spines threaded onto reed posts in Peru

5 February 2022

5 February 2022

Archaeologists have found almost 192 examples of human vertebrae threaded onto reed posts 500 years ago in the Chincha Valley...

A 4000-Year-Old Trading Port was Discovered in Istanbul

4 May 2021

4 May 2021

Archaeological excavations carried out on a peninsula in the middle of Istanbul Küçükçekmece Lake unearthed a very important 4,000-year-old trade...

A new study shows that the cave paintings at Cueva Ardales are the work of Neanderthals

21 August 2021

21 August 2021

A study of pigments used in murals in the Cueva Ardales caves in southern Spain has revealed that Neanderthals, long...

Britain’s Longest Ancient Monument ‘Offa’s Dyke’ to be Restored

21 June 2021

21 June 2021

Offa’s Dyke is a long, linear earthwork that roughly parallels the English-Welsh boundary. Offa is also known as the longest...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *