(ORDO NEWS) — In southern Spain, archaeologists have discovered a Phoenician necropolis from the fourth or fifth century BC. The discovery surprised scientists, because such structures had previously been found only in Sardinia and North Africa.
According to The History Blog, the discovery was made in the city of Osuna, in southern Spain. Interestingly, the workers who were repairing the water supply were the first to stumble upon the ancient necropolis.
They found the walls of limestone crypts, after which the work was temporarily stopped, and experts were invited to the site.
The latter say that this is a unique find, and not only because the crypts are perfectly preserved. The fact is that such necropolises have never been found in Spain before.
At the moment, archaeologists have unearthed eight tombs with stairs and entrance atriums. Apparently, these were elite burials, as experts say, which have no analogues in the hinterland of “Phoenician Spain.”
“To find a Phoenician and Carthaginian-era necropolis with these characteristics – with eight tombs, atriums and stairs – you have to go to Sardinia or even Carthage itself,” says excavation leader Mario Delgado.
The only comparable necropolises were previously found only in the coastal area, which in ancient times was the Phoenician colony of Cadiz.
But the city of Osuna is located quite far from the coast, it is located about 90 kilometers east of Seville. According to Delgado, at the beginning of the excavations, experts were sure that there were Roman structures underground.
They would be much more in line with these places and history. Therefore, the researchers were very surprised to find tombs and hypogees, that is, underground vaults, of the Phoenician era.
By the way, the Phoenicians settled southern Spain around 800 BC. This happened shortly after the founding of Carthage – the city-state, which at that time was the largest colony of Phoenicia.
It is believed that in Spain the Phoenicians were engaged in the extraction of tin, gold and silver. In addition, their presence in this region allowed them to significantly expand their famous trade links.
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