Monday, March 11, 2019

The Treasure of El Carambolo

The Treasure of El Carambolo was accidentally unearthed in 1953 in the suburbs of Seville, Spain. It takes its name from the name of the hill where it was found.

It consists of 21 pieces of gold that had been buried in a ceramic pot.

The date and origin of these pieces is much disputed. The treasure was found near two archaeological sites, one on top of the hill (Upper Carambolo) and one down the slope (Lower Carambolo). Upper Carambolo was occupied from around 850 to 750 BC by Tartessians, as we call the people who lived in the neighborhood before the Phoenicians arrived. Lower Carambolo dates to around 750 to 650 BC., after the Phoenicians arrived.

The discoverers thought this was Tartessian and associated with the older settlement, but now opinion has swung more toward a later date and therefore toward Phoenician influence. On the other hand chemical study of the gold argues that it was from Spain, so this was locally made. Lovely stuff.

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