An ancient Roman necropolis, estimated to be from the 1st or 2nd century AD, was recently discovered in the southern Spanish city of Antequera with items described as “rare” and “spectacular”. The finding was the result of archaeological work being done before construction of a future dry port.
The burial area had 24 cremations and 30 buried corpses, including a lead sarcophagus and the remains of several teenagers and newborns. The discovery was announced by the city’s mayor, Manolo Barón; the director of the city’s museum, Manuel Romero; and the municipal delegate for heritage, Ana Cebrián at a press conference on November 10.
The news was first reported by the English-language newspaper the Olive Press.
Barón called the discovery “really spectacular” in helping highlight the richness of the area during the Roman period.
In addition to the human remains found, there were many double-urn burials, as well as a lead sarcophagus containing a collection of bridal items known as a “trousseau”: glass ointments, tokens for a popular ancient Roman strategy game, glass marbles, and glass paste beads. Also found at the site were a coin and a Roman oil lamp from the 2nd century AD. Cebrián called this finding “very rare”.
These items and the tomb have been transported to the Antequera Museum for additional research and conservation work.