TOPOGRAPHY, USES AND FUNERAL RITUALS IN THE NORTHERN NECROPOLIS OF COLONIA PATRICIA. THE SEPULCRETUM OF LLANOS DEL PRETORIO
Funded by Friends of the Archeology of Córdoba, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, City Council of Córdoba and Casa Árabe.
Duration: 2018-2019 Reference:
Organization: University of Córdoba Center: Faculty of Filosofía y Letras/ Philosophy and Letters
Department: History of Art, Archeology and Music Responsables: Prof. Dr. Desiderio Vaquerizo Gil and Dra. Ana Ruiz Osuna

After the recent collapse of the housing bubble which provoqued a sudden break in the politic and private construction and thus, from the management and urban archeology, linked to it. It has increased alarmingly the unemployment in the sector and there is a  lost of a huge volume of archeological information not recoverable (material and historical). Also, the few monumental remains conserved are degrading everyday in abandoned piece of ground, basements and parkings without satisfied any patrimonial discourse, without any sense.

The economical break has been converted  in a severe threat for the protection, conservation and sustainability for our arqueologial patrimony. Whereas, it is the opportunity (in a future) in order to reflect about the mistakes performed, to do a self-autocritic and reinvent ourselves being aware of  the responsiblity we have with the environment. It is a difficult challenge but it needs several innovated solutions based on he excelence research and technological development: To agree on synergies: ; to adjudge to the citizen and empresarial iniciative. (under the auspices of the Administration) a more relevant role: to investigate while spreading; socialize while profiting the knowledge generated. Is precised to show that there are several alternatives which are very effective to confront the past; Archeology is a common legacy able to enrich the patrimonial offer of our historical cities, multiply its attractions and its approach to the world.

The Sísifo Research Group (PAIDI HUM-236) of the University of Córdoba has always worked on the historical city, understood as a “single site”, addressing all stages of its history.  Its link with urban archeology has joined with the collaboration and advice to all types of institutions and professionals, as well as the the signature of a Convention, current between 2001 and 2011, with the Municiplal Management of Urbanism what allowed to shape the “Laboratory of Archeology” and it become an ideal working group to confront the problem: archaeological excavations in an urban environment and its consequences, both for the administration and for individuals.

On the other hand, for our Research Group, the funerary world is one of the main lines of Investigation. Its uses and customs, from the pre-Roman era to the Medieval era. Whereas, the principar investigator has leaded several projects of I+D+i about the materia, that set the precedents of funerary research at the national level, with a high impact at the international level. In 2018 it is 20 years old in which the first project funus started, result of publications of all kinds, both the scientifics publications and the informative publications, an international congress and doctoral works and doctoral thesis as well as the beginning of the Interpretation Center of the Roman Funerary World in Córdoba.

To this anniversary we must add the exceptional discovery at the end of 2016 of an important roman cementery in Llanos del Pretorio which is being studied by our research Group, thanks to the materials obtained by the ArqueoQurtuba company, with which an collaboration agreement has been signed to the Municipal Management of Urbanism allowing us the access to the laboratory of municipal archeology, to the Paleolab company that is going to develop the antrophological studies, as well as the different specialists of different Spanish Universities (Granada, Sevilla, Cádiz y Huelva).

Our purpose is the consolidation of a model of integral archeology adapted to the capital of Córdoba that allows to promote research and the creation of knowledge; increase the collaboration with institutions and entities that manage historical, archaeological and cultural heritage provoking synergies; to improve the recovery and use of archeological heritage as an emergening resource inside of the field of cultural industry and tourism; giving the society what it needs and to make employments.

 

STUDY AND SPREADING OF SEPULCRETUM OF PRETORIO.

In this sector, the northeastern necropolis of Colonia Patricia was discovered thanks to an Archaelogical Follow-up lead by the archeologist Manuel Rubio Valverde, in ArqueQurtuba company. The result was a detection of remains of an important sepulcretum of the early  S. I d.C. structured around one or more routes of service perpendicular to the old Camino of Pretorio, a route of Roman origin connected the city and the mining ristrict of the sierra, very close to the walls and in a quoted sector.

When Sepulcretum was surrounded by a perimetral wall, it was`t isolated in the middle of anything, but it was integrated within the great northeastern necropolis of Colonia Patricia, well known due to several findings as the funerary areas of Avenida de las Ollerías and the old Constancia factory and monumental tombs as the tombs recovered in Torre Malmuerta or the tomb that is preserved in the basement of Palacio de la Merced.

From the University of Córdoba we realized the potential of the deposit, of which nothing has been conserved, we started, immediately, to obtain the necessary mechanisms to approach its scientific study and the revelation of results.

 

  • Study and inventory

Between the months of November, 2017 and february, 2018, we carried out the work of inventory of all the material of the necropolis, under the direction of the archeologist Manuel Rubio Valverde and and Dr. Ana Ruiz Osuna (UCO), for which we have the help of specialists in different subjects:

  • Dr. Desiderio Vaquerizo (University of Córdoba)
  • Dra. Alicia Arévalo González (University of Cádiz)
  • Dra. Elena Moreno Pulido (University of Cádiz)
  • Dr. Sergio García-Dils (University of Sevilla)
  • Dr. Luis Javier Sánchez (University of Huelva)
  • Dña. Almudena Velo Gala (University of Granada)
  • Dr. Rafael Martínez Sánchez (University of Granada)
  • Dra. Elisa García Prósper (Paleolab Group)
  • Dr. Manuel Polo Cerdá (Valencia Catholic University)
  • Dña. Liliana Hernández Lozano (University of Córdoba)
  • Dña. Sonia Vargas Cantos (University of Córdoba)
  • D. Rafael Barroso Romero (University of Córdoba)

In addittion, we have the help of several members of the Research Group Sísifo of the University of Córdoba (Dr. Manuel Ruiz and Dra. Carmen González) and the company ArqueoQurtuba (Rafael Clapés, Luis Tovar, Manuel Rodríguez and Fátima Castillo) and many students doing practices in the Degrees of History and History of Art.

In terms of the graphic and photogrammetric material, we have counted on the professionalism of José Mª Tamajón, José Luiz Vaquerizo and José Rojas.

 

Pictures of the study process

 

  • Window to science

This project pretend to make the scientific research about the sepulcretum del Pretorio very close and accessible to society. We will organize different guided tours to the laboratory,  in a kind of “Window to Science”, which will allow both young people and citizens to know first hand, the archaeological work and its multiple disciplines. On the other hand, the study of the necropolis have a intensive process of the main results through social network.

  • International Congress

The objective of this meeting, titled “Rituals, funerary customs and magic practices in Hispania. About the Sepulcretum of Llanos del Pretorio”, is to show the derived results from this research project with the aim of submitting them to trial by the scientific community and constrast them with other similar cases in the field of Hispania, whose conclusions accept the future proposals for the study of the Roman funerary world during the next years.

The Congress was organized for 30 and 31 January, 2019, whose headquarter is in Casa Árabe, and it contains with a varied list of interventions: Congress programme.

 

  • II Scientific-informative meeting ArqueoCórdoba

This year (2019), will revolve around to the anniversary of the FUNUS CORDUBENSIUM project, whose two editions marked the background of the study of  the Roman necrópolis of Córdoba and its subsequent continuity in time, as well as the results derived from the study of Pretorio’s Sepulcretum.

With the academic sessions, protagonized by the different specialists in the field, a program open to citizens appeared and that included the following activities: meeting program

 

  • Monography:

The dissemination of the results will be done through the classic monographic book format with a scientific-informative character. This monography will be published in the prestigious SPAL series from the University of Sevilla. This will be accompanished with photographies with a high quality, recreations and illustrations of the different phases of necropolis, planimetries of the excavation, and especially, the interpretation of the set.

A case without precedents in Córdoba and comparable with international publications.

Another publications:

GARCÍA-DILS DE LA VEGA, S.; RUBIO VALVERDE, M. (2018): «Three new Roman “defixiones” in its archaeological context. The necrópolis of Llanos del Pretorio (Córdoba)», Anales de Archeologia Cordobesa, vol. 29, pp. 263-292, available in the following link.

 

  • Virtual museum

The content worked and its results have in this section a special place in which we have enabled a specific space that allows all users to have the information obtained during the studies of necropolis, including the photogrammetry of the deposit and the 3D scanned of the cremation urns.

 

INTERPRETATION CENTER OF THE ROMAN FUNERAL WORLD

Due to the installation of a subterranean parking by the City of Council in the 90s of the 20th century, several “tastings” were created in Avda. De la Victoria creating an intersting and poweful stratigraphy outside of the Old City walls. The positive part of this project was the exaustive knowledge about the function of roman suburbs and medieval suburbs in a close space to the wall  and thus, the recovery of one of more emblematic and controversial monuments of the capital. They were emblematic because there is not a funerary complex in hispanic territory: two monuments whose shape was like an arquitectural mound around the door of the city whose exit is directed towards via Corduba-Hispalis, with direct parallels in the tombs that were built in Rome and the northern Italy the members belonging to the ordo equestern, using Augustus’ own Mausoleum as a reference. Its recovery supposed fierce reviews by the media. Therefore, citizens who observed in this project the loss of part of a traffic lane and thus, the absolute colapse of the traffic in this part of the city.

During several years with archaelogical works and the rebuilding as a result of a deep research, the interpretation Center opened the doors on June, 2001, joining the international Congress: “Space and its funerary uses in Roman western”, derived from Funus Cordubensium research project leaded by Prof. Dr. Desiderio Vaquerizo, from Archeology Area of the University of Córdoba. Nevertheless, through an university volunteer group, the Interpretation center of the Roman Funerary World closed its doors forever and it was disconnected from all cultural and tourist route and from the citizens who 15 years later they still ask about what was it and its usage.

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Due to the collaboration greement signed between the Council City and the University of Córdoba such as the Tourism Highschool (IMTUR) and the Research Group Sísifo, the adaptation of this space for its implementation will be carried out, accepting the cleaning and maintenance. The  Research group of Sísifo and its project based on Scientific Culture “Arqueología Somos Todos” (“We  are all Archeology”) will be responsible in a specific manner of the management of the Interpretation Center, through the implementation of an Academic Practicum for University students of different degrees (History, History of Art, Cultural Management, Tourism, etc).

The Interpretation center of the Roman Funerary World is within an organigram of the city, connected to the Center of the Axerquía in Time, the Roman Temple of the C/Claudio Marcelo, the Roman Amphitheater, located in spaces occupied by the Rector’s office of the University of Córdoba and Cercadilla.

Thanks to the collaboration of the members of our team, we will keep a constant schedule for this center of Interpretation, from Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon, with guided tours inside the reconstructed funerary monument, where the Funus Cordubensium exhibition can be found.

The Interpretation Center of the Roman Funerary World will become by its strategic character, a point of Tourist information destined specifically to the archeology of Córdoba and province, where we will establish communicative channels with the business sector, which is needed of encouragemente and models.

 

  • Exposition

The results of the Investigation about the sepulcretum of Llanos del Pretorio that took part of a small exhibition located in the Interpretation Center of the Roman Funerary World, available of the administrations, schools and collectives, under the title “Urban archeology as an agent of  knowledge creation and patrimonial dynamisation: The Sepulcretum of Llanos del Pretorio”. During the time it will be activated, guided tours will carry out to know specifically the hidden details of archaeological work, becoming a model of urban archeology in Córdoba. The panels designed for the exhibition are the following:

 

  • School Program:

During the project, we will open a registration period to Primary and Secondary center of education, through the Delegation of Education of the City Council of Córdoba and the Teacher Center Mª Luisa Revuelta. The interested centers will carry out a guided tour of the monuments and exhibition, as well as the elaboration of a didactic workshop on funerary themes.

 

 

 

 

For more information write to: arqueologiasomostodos@arqueocordoba.com