Oct 27, 2016

The Archaeological Site of Carmona

Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Known as the Roman Necropolis of Carmona until 1992, the archaeological site of Carmona was the first of its kind to be opened to the general public in Spain. It was opened in 1885 and since 1888 had a pioneering museum. Its exhibits mainly consisted of a necropolis dating back to the first century AD, and the remains of an amphitheater, the oldest to be documented within the Iberian Peninsula.

Luis Reyes "Calabrazo" and Juan Fernández López, excavations at the Necropolis, Ramón Pinzón García, 1884, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona
First stages...
Between 1880 and 1885, Juan Fernandez Lopez and George E. Bonsor bought and excavated the country estates where the Archaeological Site of Carmona is currently situated. The site was subsequently inaugurated on May 24, 1885.
Opening of the Roman Necropolis of Carmona, Ramón Pinzón García, 1885, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

The opening ceremony of the Roman Necropolis of Carmona took place on 24 May 1885. Standing on the right, with mustache, George E. Bonsor.

Tomb of the Triclinium of the Olive-Tree, Ramón Pinzón García, 1905, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of the Triclinium Olive, observe the placement of urns in the niches, the numbering of the tomb and the central triclinium for funeral banquets.

Tomb of Servilia 1 (old photography), Ramón Pinzón García, 1905, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Servilia tomb undergoing excavation.

Servilia Sculpture (Tomb of Servilia), Ramón Pinzón García, 1905, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Servilia. Servilia sculpture at the site of its discovery.

Tomb of the Four Columns, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona
Tour of the site
Of the more than two hundred excavated funerary complexes only a dozen are accessible to the public. However, these are undoubtedly the most spectacular.
First Circular Mausoleum 1, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Circular Mausoleum. The upper structure of the monument is distinguishable by the ring of stones. Outside the structure there is a well through which the chamber can be accessed.

First Circular Mausoleum 2, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Circular Mausoleum. Detail of the underground chamber.

Tomb of the Garlands 2, Daniel González Acuña, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of the Garlands. Despite the degree of rock degradation, remnants of the pictorial decoration, made up of plant motifs on the niches, may still be seen.

Tomb of the Garlands. Current state and a recreation of its original appearance.

Tomb of the Elephant 1, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of the Elephant. View of the triclinia (places in which funeral banquets were held) and the central corridor.

Tomb of Postumius 1, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Postumius. View of the courtyard and access to the burial chamber.

Tomb of Servilia 1, Daniel González Acuña, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Servilia. General view. In the foreground, the access corridor to the burial chamber (originally hypogeum) and atrium.

Tomb of Servilia 4, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Servilia. Detail of the burial chamber with ribbed vault with arcosolia to host sarcophagi.

Tomb of Servilia 11 (picture), Juan Rodríguez Jaldón, 1931, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Servilia. Idealized drawing of the original appearance of the burial chamber with pictorial decoration. Painted by Juan Rodríguez Jaldón (c. 1931).

Quadrangular Mausoleum, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Four-cornered Mausoleum. It highlights the closure of stone slabs blocking access to the underground burial chamber, leaving only one small trap door currently open.

Tomb of the Four Columns, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of the Four Columns. One of the most original complexes of the necropolis, highlighted by a domed-roof supported by four pillars.

Tomb of Prepusa 3, Daniel González Acuña, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Tomb of Prepusa. Highlighted by the existence of a ustrinum (where the body was cremated) within the funerary complex itself. The door leads to the burial chamber.

Columbarium-Triclinium, Daniel González Acuña, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Columbarium Triclinium. A collective funeral complex opposite family members, being a common trend at this necropolis.

Anphiteatrum 1, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Amphitheater. The oldest building of its kind on the Iberian Peninsula, in which the tiers of benches carved into the rock and marks in the sand to support a wooden floorboarding are clearly visible.

Archaeological findings, Ramón Pinzón García, 1886, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona
Interior of the museum
An on-site museum at the Roman Necropolis of Carmona was established at an early stage, in which objects recovered from the tombs were displayed.
Servilia Sculpture and its Pedestal (Tomb of Servilia), Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Statue of Servilia. The main hall of the museum is dominated by the sculpture of Servilia and the pedestal that he dedicated to his mother.

Elephant Sculpture (Elephant Tomb), Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

The Elephant Statue. Originally housed in the eponymous tomb, and later moved into the museum for safety and conservation reasons, the significance of this statue remains a mystery.

Cinerary Urn of Pottery with Grave Goods, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Ceramic urn with ashes from cremation and grave goods.

Grave Goods, Guillermo Mendo Murillo, From the collection of: Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Grave goods possibly originating from a female burial.

Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona
Credits: Story

The archaeological site of Carmona

Organised by:

Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona
Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía

Curated by: Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño
Texts: Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño, José Ildefonso Ruiz Cecilia
Photograpy:José Ildefonso Ruiz Cecilia
Digital Edition: Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño

Conjunto Arqueológico de Carmona

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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