An investigation reveals the partial destruction of a Chalcolithic tomb by some works

An investigation reveals the partial destruction of a Chalcolithic tomb by some works


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Preventive tastings for the expansion of an olive dressing cooperative show the discovery of a "mutilated" hypogeum during the construction of the facilities.

Undoubtedly modern society has advanced remarkably in terms of protection and preservation of the historical legacy, thanks to instruments such as National Law 16/1985 on Spanish Historical Heritage, regional regulations in this area, municipal archaeological charts, general urban planning plans or specialized prosecutors, for example.

However, the eradication of attacks on historical heritage It seems still remote, as is highlighted by the fact that during 2018, the Prosecutor's Office initiated 195 proceedings for alleged crimes perpetrated against historical heritage in the whole of Spain, a figure that implies a 14.7 percent increase in this classification compared to 2017.

This statistic does not cover, of course, the breaches and infractions of the regulations of historical heritage resolved through disciplinary proceedings by the competent administrations in the matter.

So unfortunately it is not difficult to find examples of omissions in the precautions in relation to the patrimonial legacy or infractions with dire consequences for historical remains.

This is the case, without going any further, of the aspects revealed by an investigation entitled “The discovery of the partial remains of an artificial Chalcolithic burial cave in the archaeological site of Getsemaní-Cerro del Ojo”, Located in the municipality of Pedrera, in the heart of the Sierra Sur de Sevilla.

Cave "mutilated transversely"

This document derives from a preventive archaeological intervention undertaken in the surroundings of the facilities of the Getsemaní dressing cooperative society, on the occasion of the project to reform and expand the plant.

The tastings, by archaeologists José Miguel Bascón, Isabel María Jabalquinto and Úrsula Tejedor, led to the discovery of a burial chamber with indications of having been "mutilated transversely”.

According to these archaeologists, their first field work in this enclave confirmed that this cave, with a flat or slightly vaulted roof and a quadrangular-rectangular plan, it was "partially razed in contemporary times, more specifically from the 90s of the twentieth century, while the construction of the fermenter yard immediately near the area was underway”Where this prehistoric hypogeum is located.

The funerary structure, formed by three niches, one of them collective, with skeletal remains attributed to at least six individuals and dated to a "upcoming chronology”To the first quarter of the third millennium prior to the current era; was subjected according to these researchers to a process of "destruction, razing and subsequent silting at the time of its demolition in contemporary times", Being recovered in its excavation"artifacts such as a plug, brick shards, radial discs, or plastic and metal items”.

Similar previous discoveries

Emphasizing the “incomplete state" of the funeral structure when detailing the details of the find, the aforementioned archaeologists interpret the same "in accordance with other discoveries made in the area, which, although they were not excavated or studied as would have been desirable, did show a clear and evident trace of human activity in these places that are located between the mountains and the southern Sevillian countryside”.

In this regard, the authors of this research specify that “Already in the 80s of the last century, some references to these finds were collected in the bibliography, which occurred in 1978 in the area called Cerro del Ojo, more specifically in the olive cooperative that today gives its name to the Getsemaní site.”.

But according to these archaeologists, although the more recent documentation about such traces reflects that "where today the Getsemaní olive cooperative stands, on the southern slope of Cerro del Ojo, there was a set of chalcolithic graves, around twenty, excavated in the rock", These same texts literally realize that"all of them were destroyed when the establishment was built at the beginning of the 80s of the last century”.

Europa Press journalist, collaborator of "Sevillanos de Guardia" in Onda Cero Radio and collaborator writer in MRN Aljarafe.


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