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Discovery of a pre-Roman settlement in Mijas excites archaeologists

The oven is the most important and most valuable item found so far.
The oven is the most important and most valuable item found so far. / I. G.
  • The most unusual item found at Finca de Acebedo so far is an oven dating back to the transition period between the Carthaginians and Romans

A group of archaeologists contracted by Mijas council have just discovered a perfectly-preserved square oven which could be one of the most important findings in Malaga province. The soundings and excavations are being carried out at Finca de Acebedo, which in future will become the biggest archeology park on the Costa del Sol and a major tourism and cultural attraction.

What has been discovered so far has surpassed all expectations, says the head of the council's Historic Heritage department, Juan José de la Rubia. The discovery of two ovens in very good condition, and other materials, indicates that this is “one of the few existing sites from the early days of the Roman presence in the province,” he says, making it a unique framework for studying the transition period between the Carthaginian and Roman worlds.

In fact, De la Rubia says a huge amount of archaeological information will be obtained from the second oven, because it has been extraordinarily well preserved. It still has its grill and the adobe structure is completely intact. It is the first square-shaped oven to have been found in Malaga province.

An oil lamp with the image of the goddess Diana is of special interest to the archaeologists.

An oil lamp with the image of the goddess Diana is of special interest to the archaeologists. / I. G.

Sources at the Heritage department also say that the ovens are of different types and from two different periods in history, and that the walls of a necropolis have also been located, as well as a silo more than two metres deep whose function is still being studied.

Although the final conclusions are yet to be made, it looks as if the oldest discoveries date back at least 2,400 years and are from different cultures.

Future discoveries

The director of the excavation project, Desiré Piñero, says the square oven with its combustion chamber and grill is very unusual and needs to be studied in depth. “We still have a great deal of work ahead studying all the items found in this area, and they will enable us to define more precisely the chronology of the pieces and the infrastructure,” she says.

There is also more to come. Juan José de la Rubia says the works will continue for several months. “The surveys have shown that there are more structures below the ground. We don't know how old they are or what state they are in, but all this is really exciting,” he says.