Researchers study the Phoenician funeral urn. / SUR

Excavation of the Cortijo de Acebedo archaeological site in Mijas continues

Archaeologists from the University of Cadiz visited the site to continue the research of the area, which has so far produced surprising results, including the discovery of a perfectly preserved Phoenician funeral urn

Tony Bryant
TONY BRYANT

Mijas town hall is continuing to advance with its archaeological excavation of the Cortijo de Acebedo, the westernmost Phoenician necropolis in the province of Malaga.

The site, which is located at the foot of the old marine estuary of the Fuengirola river, dates to around the seventh century BCE.

Three archaeologists from the University of Cadiz visited the site this week to continue the research of the area, which has so far produced surprising results.

Last month, archaeologists discovered a perfectly preserved Phoenician funeral urn, although they were confused as to why the urn did not contain any remains, which is unusual with this type of urn, known as a ‘black cross’.

Researchers are now trying to decipher whether several bones – believed to be those of an adult female – and a small metallic element found next to the find are related to the funeral urn. They believe the metallic piece will be key to deciphering why the urn does not contain the remains of the deceased.

Specialists are currently considering several hypotheses. One of them is that it served as a container for herbs or lichens that was used during the funeral ritual, although, as the anthropologist of the Centre for Phoenician and Punic Studies Victoria Peña, points out, “this is not usual”.

Important archaeological site

Archaeologists will continue to study the site using a magnetometer (a device that measures magnetic field) and a digital tomograph, with which a profile of the subsoil up to eight metres deep is obtained, in order help to continue unearthing the secrets of one of the most important archaeological sites in the province of Malaga.

“The heritage that is hidden in this historical site is incalculable, that is why we are supporting this project. Through different explorations with a magnetometer and a digital tomograph we want to continue profiling the map of the subsoil of Acebedo to be able to know exactly where we should excavate to continue reconstructing the history of our municipality,” the councillor for Historical Heritage, Laura Moreno, said.