Nowadays, burials related to the ancient Turdetan settlement remain unknown, perhaps due to a unique archaeological casuistry, or maybe because they used certain funeral rites of Atlantic tradition that would not have left any material print, such as throwing the bodies into the river.
The first signs of burials into the historic city are assigned to Roman Republican times. The largest initial necropolis must have been the southern one, subsequently amortized by the Augustan expansion of the walled perimeter towards the Baetis.
After the refunding of the city under Augustus, the new Colonia Patricia initiated an important monumentalization process that also affected funerary spaces. They were especially useful to externalize and transmit to posterity the memory of the deceased, as well as a self-representation tool for the living.
This is the case of the circular tumuli in the current Puerta de Gallegos, located outside of the wall facing one of its gates. With about 7 meters high and almost 12 in diameter, they flanked the Corduba-Hispalis way, one of the main arteries in Colonia Patricia. They have been dated in early 1st century AD, and are one of the best examples of the arrival of italic influences to the new colonia.
Necropolis outside the walls shared the space with other elements of the Roman city that were generally placed outside the walled perimeter because they were noxious, malodorous or annoying, such as certain craft or agricultural labors. Over time, and with the increasing population, these vici or neighborhoods were also developed in various suburban areas, sometimes occupying ancient funerary spaces.
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RUIZ OSUNA, A. B. (2009): Topografía y monumentalización funeraria en Baetica: conventus Cordubensis y Astigitanus, Universidad de Córdoba.
RUIZ OSUNA, A. B. (2010): “Viae sepulchrales y paisaje funerario” en D. VAQUERIZO y J.F. MURILLO (Eds.), El anfiteatro romano de córdoba y su entorno urbano. Análisis arqueológico (ss. I-XIII d.C.), MgAC, nº 19 vol. II, 380-406.
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VAQUERIZO GIL, D. (2001b): “Formas arquitectónicas funerarias, de carácter monumental en Colonia Patricia Corduba”, AEspa 74, Madrid, 131-160.
VAQUERIZO GIL, D. (Ed.) (2001c), Espacios y usos funerarios en el Occidente romano, Córdoba, 2 vols.
VAQUERIZO GIL, D. (2003): Guía Arqueológica de Córdoba, Córdoba.
VAQUERIZO GIL, D. (2010): Necrópolis urbanas en Baetica, Tarragona-Sevilla.
VENTURA VILLANUEVA, A. (2008): “Monumentos funerarios”, en LEÓN ALONSO, P. (Coord.), Arte Romano de la Bética. Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Sevilla, 2008, 356-389.