Santiponce Itálica

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The Chalcolithic and Tartessian Site of ‘La Angorrilla’ and Necropolis

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The La Angorilla site is located near Alcalá del Ríos historical centre. This site was used as a Chalcolithic settlement and as a necropolis in the Tartessian and Roman period.

Chalcolithic settlement:

It is located on a slightly raised ground on the right bank of the River Guadalquivir that protects the east and south. To the west, it gently slopes towards the Arroyo del Barranco and a sedimented riverbed. Its location in a transition area between Vega del Guadalquivir and Sierra Morena provides optimal conditions for a human settlement.

From the Chalcolithic period, the Copper Age, some 100 siliform structures of varied sizes have been excavated in the marls and terrace deposits.

The silos were concentrated in the settlement’s central section where two or more frequently intersected, while those in the periphery were more isolated.

This site has similar characteristics not only to those of other nearby towns, such as Valencina de la Concepción but also across a wider geographical area that extends beyond Andalusia. The common denominator is its location in fertile lands in river basins and the siliform structures, which are frequently associated with ditches and foundations, the latter understood as those of huts. In most cases, these structures, especially the silos, overlapped each other, especially as a result of reoccupation and/or restructuring of the settlement. They are often full of sheep and dog bones, human bones, ashes lithic artefacts, among others.

The Necropolis:

The necropolis is located about 800 metres to the southwest of the settlement and separated from it by a sizable valley cut by the seasonal Caganchas stream, which drains into the Guadalquivir.

It dates from the mid-7th century BC in a relative chronology and around the 9th century in absolute chronology.

Burials in simple grave-pits have been documented, mostly inhumations (56 tombs), but also primary incinerations (10 bustum-type graves) and secondary incinerations (1 black cross urn incineration). The pits are oriented towards the sunrise, which shows variations in the magnetic orientation due to the deviation of the sun throughout the year, always in the basic east-west direction.

The artefacts found vary within a range of objects that are often repeated, such as objects for everyday use and personal adornments (belt buckles, beaded necklaces, earrings, etc.), as well as ivory objects, plates and animal offerings.

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