Agreement of collaboration between the Management of Urbanism Office of Córdoba City Council and the University of Córdoba for the development of the Archaeological Investigation in the city of Cordova and in its municipal term

The GMU-UCO Collaboration Agreement arises from the firm intention of connecting a university research center, the Archaeology Area of ​​the University of Córdoba, with the urban, economic, sociocultural and labor reality of its immediate surroundings, in order to attend outside of the classrooms, although without ever losing contact with the academic field, the current needs of a historic city such as Cordova, thus generating a management model of national and international reference.

The intense research activity developed by this research group, has allowed to advance, in a very remarkable way, in the scientific knowledge of various aspects related to the history of the city. The last aspects dealt mainly with extra-urban spaces, completing the research begun in the nineties focused on the within the walls and Roman times in Cordova, attending to urban, decorative, monumental and service issues.

Archaeological management in Cordoba: GMU-UCO Convention

The city of Cordoba, in spite of the important role played as capital in transcendental moments of its history and the wealth of archaeological testimonies that it treasures in its soil, has not until very recent dates had a favorable situation with regard to the archeological investigation and the dissemination of such rich heritage.

The absence of a Chair of Archaeology at it young University until the mid-1980s is a good indication of this. On the other hand, the inability to manage such a complex and varied heritage with a complete lack of planning and control by the competent administrations, aggravated by the increasing volume of urban archaeological interventions since 1985, required the elaboration of a Comprehensive Research Project in Urban Archaeology. This project emerged in the early nineties in order to planning, protect and research the archaeological heritage of Cordova, framed in a clear concept of the historic city as a unique site, with a long diachronic occupation.

With this background, new work was needed on a double front: on the one hand, the elaboration of municipal protection regulations; On the other hand, the creation of a research team designed to put in place the very diverse and dispersed archaeological information generated daily for decades in Cordova.

In 1993 was created the first place of Municipal archaeologist in the Municipal Management of Urbanism, signing a collaboration agreement between this organization and the Archaeology Area of ​​the University of Córdoba. The next step in the relationship between the two entities was the drafting of the Archaeological Risk Charter of the Municipality of Córdoba (1997), designed both to systematize the archaeological information hitherto known and to draft the Normative for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage of the General Plan of Urban Planning 2001 and of the Special Plan of Protection of the Historic Complex. This is a basic administrative document for the implementation of diverse actions framed in the local regulations, aimed at the prevention, protection, conservation and enhancement of the archaeological heritage of Cordova, since the city has been understood as a unique and living site because it is in permanent transformation.

The final materialization of the Research Group took place in 2001, with the extension of the existing Collaboration Agreement between the Municipal Management of Urbanism and the University of Córdoba and the creation of a large professional and technical team integrated in a “Laboratory of Urban Archaeology “(Funded by the City of Córdoba).

This Convention, supported by the application of urban planning (General Urban Planning Plan and Special Plan for the Protection of Historic Heritage), has one of its priority lines of action the control, supervision and development of field archaeological activities and excavations) in those plots of the urban center of Cordova and its term affected by works of property and/or public (municipal) initiative; Without forgetting free and ex officio attention to certain groups or individuals, whose projects are marked by a high social component. It has a large team of archaeologists and technicians trained mostly in the Research Group of the Archaeology Area of ​​the University of Córdoba, hired or trained for this purpose; In addition to collaborating with the network of Municipal Schools, whose technical staff are also nurtured by researchers trained in the framework of our Group.

From the point of view of the Archaeology Area, the Project enables direct daily contact with the archeological evidence of the Cordovan site, which will contribute greatly to its valuation, protection, conservation, diffusion and valorization, but also with the urban problematic of the present city, that the University can not ignore in any case; While facilitating access to the labor market for doctors and young graduates with a solid background in Archaeology.

For its part, the Group allows the Municipal Management of Urbanism to face with sufficient guarantees in terms of rigor and scientific quality of documentation, but also in terms of timing of implementation all those archaeological interventions that each year must carry out lots of their ownership in connection with new construction projects.

Nowadays, the growing demand for archaeologists and technicians specialized in graphic documentation and topography of archaeological remains and the repercussions of the results of this Convention are opening the door to collaboration with private companies, both in the field of strictly professional archaeological activity, as well as the social and cultural dimension of this activity, such as the production of high-dissemination publications or the drafting of historical and archaeological quality documentation to incorporate the important tourist offer from Cordova.

Consequently, the Convention revolves around three fundamental aspects or pillars:

Key pillars of the GMU-UCO Convention
Training of researchers and professionals of Archaeology perfectly qualified.
Labor insertion of the same in the field of urban Archaeology.
Dissemination of the cordovan archaeological heritage to the society as a whole, in order to contribute to its protection, conservation, valorization and adequate (cultural and economic) profitability; Work that necessarily leads to collaboration with other public or private institutions of a cultural and/or entrepreneurial nature.

At the end of 2011, the Cordoba City Council unilaterally annulled the collaboration agreement signed with the University of Córdoba (UCO).