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Chalcolithic tomb found in southern Spain

The rise of subtropical crops in La Axarquía has produced an archaeological find of great value. Almost four decades after the last one was dated in this same area, a few days ago excavation work was completed on a Bronze Age tomb, some 4,000 years ago, in the vicinity of Pago de Ramírez, within the municipality of Periana in the Andalusian province of Málaga, in southern Spain. The discovery was quite coincidental and was due, to a large extent, to the "conscience and responsibility" of the owner of the estate, in which there were olive trees, which are being replaced by avocados.

Chalcolithic tomb found in southern Spain
Credit: E.C./Diario Sur
According to the archaeologist and director of the Museum of Velez-Malaga (MUVEL), Emilio Martin Cordoba, this is a cist-type tomb, corresponding to the Final Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age, in which have been found the skeletal remains of two people (an adult and a youth), a intact hand-made ceramic vessel, a (riveted copper?) knife and other grave goods.

"From the testimonies of the neighbours, we have known that in recent years similar tombs have appeared in other nearby farms, but unfortunately they have been destroyed. All this area was the cemetery of the settlement of Cerro de Capellanía, which was one of the most important at this time in the interior of the region of La Axarquía," said Martin, who explained that it has been 36 years since they were able to document a similar burial.

Chalcolithic tomb found in southern Spain
Credit: E.C./Diario Sur
"With modern carbon-14 techniques and DNA analysis we will be able to obtain much more information about the find," added the archaeologist. The remains, once analyzed, will be exhibited in the museum of Velez-Malaga, which has a space dedicated to these indigenous populations who lived in the area four millennia ago, before the arrival of the Phoenicians and Romans. "At that time there were no olive trees, because they were brought by the Phoenicians, so this enclave had a totally different landscape to the present one", said the expert.

In fact, the excavation carried out to plant avocados in this estate in Pago de Ramírez has reached a depth of several metres, which suggests that there have been significant deposition of sediments throughout these 4,000 years. The site where the tomb has been found is located a kilometre away from Cerro de Capellanía, an archaeological site located in the vicinity of one of the tails of the La Viñuela reservoir, within the municipality of Vinolero.

Chalcolithic tomb found in southern Spain
Credit: E.C./Diario Sur
After learning of the archaeological find, the Mayor of Perian, in view of the lack of adequate technical personnel in his municipality, contacted the Councillor for Culture of the City Council of Velez-Malaga, Cynthia Garcia, requesting the collaboration of Martin Cordoba. A team has been created to study the tomb, under the direction of José Suárez Padilla, from the Prehistory area of the UMA, which, in addition to Martín Córdoba, also has the collaboration of Alfonso Palomo, responsible for the anthropological analysis.

Source: Diario Sur [September 01, 2018]


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