Archaeologists manage to rebuild a complete Phoenician metallurgy workshop in Alicante

Archaeologists manage to rebuild a complete Phoenician metallurgy workshop in Alicante

Although the silver work carried out by the Phoenicians is known, never before has a complete workshop been excavated. The authors of this finding are researchers from the universities of Alicante and Murcia, and the Archaeological Museum of Guardamar del Segura (Alicante).

The results have just been published in the Complutum magazine, edited by the Complutense University of Madrid.

The remains were excavated in archaeological campaigns, carried out between 2015 and 2017 in the Small Head of Tin deposit (CPE), in Guardamar del Segura (Alicante).

This workshop preserves the architecture, a building with a circular floor plan, and the internal furniture, which is made up of an oven, a workbench, foundry and forge utensils and remains of silver galena (the mineral from which they extracted silver).

Furniture and objects located in the archaeological excavation have allowed researchers to rebuild its functionality, specifically the metallurgy of silver. The verification of this activity shows the prestige of both the building itself, and of the artisans who used it throughout the s. VII BC

The archaeological investigations carried out in the CPE of Guardamar del Segura have made it possible to rescue for Phoenician studies this site.

Despite its partial conservation, due to the fact that in 1988 it suffered the destructive action of an illegal quarry for the extraction of aggregates, it is a settlement that is still in a position to offer information of enormous relevance on the first Phoenician impact on the eastern peninsula which, according to the data, could have taken place from the first decades of the s. VIII BC

Phoenician workshop in use between 700 and 650 BC.

As commented Fernando Prados placeholder image, first author of the work, “the workshop was in use approximately between 700 and 650 BC, a moment that corresponds to the second phase of life of this town founded around 780 BC. and partially destroyed by an earthquake that occurred around 730. The dates are obtained by means of the Carbon 14 (C14) technique carried out on seeds, and the metal studies have been carried out in the Technical Research Services of the UA (SSTTI) ”.

The archaeologist details the origin of the minerals, on which it specifies “they arrived by boat from the mountains of Almería and Murcia. Ingots were produced in the Small Head of Tin, which, from here, were exported throughout the Mediterranean to the Near East. Thanks to this discovery, we can recognize the Phoenician commercial circuit of the Hispanic southeast, which had silver as its main objective and put this unique deposit in value ”.

The discovery was recently presented in the IX International Congress of Phoenician and Punic Studies, held in Mérida (Badajoz) last October 2018.

For the spring of 2019 a monographic exhibition on the site in the Archaeological Museum of Guardamar.

Later, in the summer, assumed by the INAPH and with the sponsorship of the Guardamar City Council, Fernando Prados Martínez and Antonio García Menargues, directors of the excavation, will continue with it. Students and teachers from the UMU and the UA participate in the work.

Bibliographic reference:

Prados Martínez, F .; García Menárguez, A .; Jiménez Vialás, H. "Phoenician Metallurgy in the Iberian Southeast: the Small Head of Tin Workshop" (Guardamar, Alicante) Complutum, 29 (1): 79-94 (2018) http://dx.doi.org/10.5209 /CMPL.62396.
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