The prospecting of the Roman necropolis of Carmona (Seville) carried out by the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics of Andalusia of the University of Granada has revealed the existence of more than 240 structures capable of being burial. This discovery would mean doubling the number of already known tombs – about 200 – in the necropolis, found in 1868, as announced on Monday by the Andalusian Minister of Culture and Historical Heritage, Patricia del Pozo, who has described the finding of “historical”. “Not only for Carmona, but for the Andalusian archaeological heritage and for all of Spain”, he praised.
The tombs of the Roman cemetery of the Sevillian town already excavated represent only 10% of the land of the Archaeological Ensemble of Carmona, where there is also an amphitheater. The prospecting of the area was carried out between October and December 2020 with the impulse of the Ministry of Culture and the City Council of Carmona. Del Pozo has not announced a date for the start of the excavations or an estimated budget. “We are still analyzing the results. But this is not a stop and let 20 years pass. We are not going to stop working ”, he stated. The Carmona City Council foresees a four-way agreement with the University of Seville, the Pablo de Olavide University and the Ministry of Culture for the planned investment.
The team of archaeologists, led by Alejandro Jiménez, has surveyed three areas covering 12,700 square meters using geophysical techniques. The largest and most important area is what they have called Zone 1 or Huerto Casquizo. On this farm, of more than one hectare and owned by the Board since 1978, the study has determined that it would be a large Roman quarry. On its slopes, anomalies similar to known underground tombs and a series of wall alignments have been observed that could correspond to terraced tombs or a large funerary building.
In Zone 2, with an area of 764 square meters, the existence of that road that communicated Hispalis with the end of the archaeological complex and other burial chambers has been confirmed. And finally, in Zone 3, measuring 236 square meters, a rounded mound has been detected that would correspond to a circular mausoleum. Jiménez has affirmed that the discovery “opens a new panorama”. “Even our assessment of the number of graves has been cautious. I believe that the reality when it is verified will be much more dense than we have anticipated ”.
“The necropolis of Carmona is unique. In Hispania there were more important cities, but here there are special circumstances. First, there is a rock that is easy to excavate. Then, the existence of the quarries that was the focus of attraction. But above all, two roads converge: the Hispalis, the old road from Carmona to Seville, and the Augusta, which is the great highway from Cádiz to Rome and which linked all of Betica. The Romans liked to be remembered, so they fought to bury themselves in places with heights, which occur here, where they were more visible ”. For Del Pozo, “the nineteenth century was the one of his discovery [de la necrópolis], the 20th century, that of its incorporation into the public heritage and, without a doubt, this 21st century should be that of its definitive enhancement as one of the most important archaeological sites in our country ”.