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Phoenician tomb excavated in Cadiz, Spain

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  • stumpe22
    I know this is unrelated to the subject matter of this group, but I was interested in some academic feedback after coming across this article. I apologize that
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 1, 2006
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      I know this is unrelated to the subject matter of this group, but I
      was interested in some academic feedback after coming across this
      article.
      I apologize that this is rather unrelated to Roman history, but when
      I came across this article it made me want to get some academic
      feedback.

      My grandmother gave me a National Geographic magazine today that
      she's saved, and the date of the issue is August, 1924. In it is an
      interesting article about tombs (and one in particular) excavated in
      Cadiz, Spain between 1887 and 1890 that are claimed to be Phoenician
      and dating to the period 1400 to 1100 B.C. I will scan and post a
      picture from the magazine of one sarcophagus in particular, and put
      it in the files section.

      As the issue is from 1924, I am a little skeptical, but the relevant
      portions of the article reads as follows:

      first, the heading under the picture of the sarcophagus excavated in
      1887 reads:

      "A Phoenician Tomb, Probably that of the First High Priest of the
      Phoenician Colony of Cadiz
      A marble sarcophagus of from 1400 to 1100 B.C. was discovered in
      1887 while leveling the ground for the maritime exposition outside
      the city walls. The sculptured figure resembles an ancient Assyrian
      (curls), while the features are Semitic. The tomb probably stood in
      a niche of the Temple of Hercules. It is thought that a Greek
      sculptor was employed to create this figure in advance of the
      priest's death."

      the relevant part of the main article reads:

      "Cadiz is Spain's Chief Atlantic Port
      With its splendid harbor and modern docks, the peninsular city is
      Spain's chief Atlantic port. There are two large shipyards outside
      the walls, but they were idle at the time of my visit.
      It was while laying out one of these shipyards, in 1890, that the
      second of a series of great archeological discoveries was made.
      Three years before, while leveling the ground for the Maritime
      Exposition, the first of the tombs were unearthed.
      These proved to be of the earliest Phoenician period. The most
      important find was a tomb containing the marvelously carved marble
      casket of a priest of the Temple of Hercules, which once stood on a
      shore of Cadiz Bay. For years Dr. Pelayo Quintero Atauri, one of
      Spain's foremost archeologists, has been laboriously patching
      together the fragments of this strange story from out the mists of
      the past.
      There was, it seems, long centuries ago, a smaller island very
      near to the land on which Cadiz now stands. Either on this smaller
      island or at the base of the present peninsula stood the temple of a
      race of sun-worshipers, whose high priest made human sacrifice. It
      is the likeness of this priest, carved on the lid of the marble
      sarcophagus, that I have seen in the Archeological Museum in Cadiz.
      It is a most wonderful sarcophagus. So skillfully is the figure
      carved that the man himself seems to lie before you. His features
      are Semitic-eyelids heavy, lips full, nose curved. The curly hair
      and beard are Assyrian.
      He wears a long tunic and his feet are bare. His left hand
      holds a human heart; his right is in the position to hold a knife,
      although no knife is there. Thus is the priest depicted in the
      supreme moment of sacrifice.
      The marble probably came from Almeria, on the Mediterranean
      coast of Spain. The sculptor was, perhaps, a Greek, who carved the
      figure during the priest's lifetime. Within the casket a skeleton
      was found.
      In this and in many other tombs since unearthed have been found
      beautifully engraved gold amulets, necklaces, bracelets, and funeral
      rings. One of the seal rings carries an inscription as yet
      untranslated. From the careful study of jewelry, weapons, and
      pottery, the Cadiz scientist has made many deductions.
      The temple still existed in the days of Augustus. Strabo wrote
      of it; so did Pliny the Younger. The story of those who founded it,
      those who for long centuries preserved it, is a fascinating one to
      unravel."

      And, the heading under the photograph of other tombs excavated:
      "Phoenician Tombs Unearthed Near Cadiz
      These burial places and many coins are practically the only relics
      of the Phoenicians who flourished here more than a thousand years
      before the Christian Era."

      Other relevant portions of the article:
      "...Halfway around the bay curve, between Algeciras and La Linea, is
      the site of Carteia, one of the oldest cities in western Europe. It
      was on of the first trading posts established by the Phoenicians.
      To these earliest "commercial travelers" Spain owes its
      name. "Span," or "Spania," they called it, the "remote,"
      or "hidden," land.
      It was sometime around 1400 B.C. that the Phoenicians, after
      planting their colonies on the shores of the Mediterranean, dared at
      last to sail past the Pillars of Hercules, here to found Carteia, in
      the shadow of the great Rock, and Cadiz farther to the west.
      Wheat, wine, wool, gold, silver, and lesser metals, salted eels
      of Tartessus, and Tyrian tunny were now borne eastward from Spain."

      Anyone have any thoughts or knowledge as to the sarcophagus or the
      tombs excavated? They must still be in a museum somewhere in
      Spain. I find it hard to believe that they date from before 1100
      B.C., as is claimed, the Phoenicians are traditionally believed to
      have made settlements in the south of the Iberian Peninsula c. 1100
      B.C., although the archaeological evidence would indicate a date of
      about 300 years later.

      -Michael
    • Mary Harrsch
      Michael, sorry for a late response to this interesting post. I m afraid I have not visited Spain yet so I don t know if this sarcophagus is still exhibited at
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 10, 2006
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        Michael, sorry for a late response to this interesting post. I'm
        afraid I have not visited Spain yet so I don't know if this
        sarcophagus is still exhibited at a museum there or not. Richard
        recently went to Spain. Maybe he can shed some light on this find.
        Fascinating articles like this made the early National Geographic a
        must read. I'm afraid I've become a bit disillusioned with their
        current issues, however. Several years ago they seemed to turn more
        towards travel type material rather than archaeological study. I
        rarely read more than one article per issue now.


        --- In imperialrome2@..., "stumpe22"
        <mytoyneighborhood@s...> wrote:
        >
        > I know this is unrelated to the subject matter of this group, but I
        > was interested in some academic feedback after coming across this
        > article.
        > I apologize that this is rather unrelated to Roman history, but when
        > I came across this article it made me want to get some academic
        > feedback.
        >
        > My grandmother gave me a National Geographic magazine today that
        > she's saved, and the date of the issue is August, 1924. In it is an
        > interesting article about tombs (and one in particular) excavated in
        > Cadiz, Spain between 1887 and 1890 that are claimed to be Phoenician
        > and dating to the period 1400 to 1100 B.C. I will scan and post a
        > picture from the magazine of one sarcophagus in particular, and put
        > it in the files section.
        >
        > As the issue is from 1924, I am a little skeptical, but the relevant
        > portions of the article reads as follows:
        >
        > first, the heading under the picture of the sarcophagus excavated in
        > 1887 reads:
        >
        > "A Phoenician Tomb, Probably that of the First High Priest of the
        > Phoenician Colony of Cadiz
        > A marble sarcophagus of from 1400 to 1100 B.C. was discovered in
        > 1887 while leveling the ground for the maritime exposition outside
        > the city walls. The sculptured figure resembles an ancient Assyrian
        > (curls), while the features are Semitic. The tomb probably stood in
        > a niche of the Temple of Hercules. It is thought that a Greek
        > sculptor was employed to create this figure in advance of the
        > priest's death."
        >
        > the relevant part of the main article reads:
        >
        > "Cadiz is Spain's Chief Atlantic Port
        > With its splendid harbor and modern docks, the peninsular city is
        > Spain's chief Atlantic port. There are two large shipyards outside
        > the walls, but they were idle at the time of my visit.
        > It was while laying out one of these shipyards, in 1890, that the
        > second of a series of great archeological discoveries was made.
        > Three years before, while leveling the ground for the Maritime
        > Exposition, the first of the tombs were unearthed.
        > These proved to be of the earliest Phoenician period. The most
        > important find was a tomb containing the marvelously carved marble
        > casket of a priest of the Temple of Hercules, which once stood on a
        > shore of Cadiz Bay. For years Dr. Pelayo Quintero Atauri, one of
        > Spain's foremost archeologists, has been laboriously patching
        > together the fragments of this strange story from out the mists of
        > the past.
        > There was, it seems, long centuries ago, a smaller island very
        > near to the land on which Cadiz now stands. Either on this smaller
        > island or at the base of the present peninsula stood the temple of a
        > race of sun-worshipers, whose high priest made human sacrifice. It
        > is the likeness of this priest, carved on the lid of the marble
        > sarcophagus, that I have seen in the Archeological Museum in Cadiz.
        > It is a most wonderful sarcophagus. So skillfully is the figure
        > carved that the man himself seems to lie before you. His features
        > are Semitic-eyelids heavy, lips full, nose curved. The curly hair
        > and beard are Assyrian.
        > He wears a long tunic and his feet are bare. His left hand
        > holds a human heart; his right is in the position to hold a knife,
        > although no knife is there. Thus is the priest depicted in the
        > supreme moment of sacrifice.
        > The marble probably came from Almeria, on the Mediterranean
        > coast of Spain. The sculptor was, perhaps, a Greek, who carved the
        > figure during the priest's lifetime. Within the casket a skeleton
        > was found.
        > In this and in many other tombs since unearthed have been found
        > beautifully engraved gold amulets, necklaces, bracelets, and funeral
        > rings. One of the seal rings carries an inscription as yet
        > untranslated. From the careful study of jewelry, weapons, and
        > pottery, the Cadiz scientist has made many deductions.
        > The temple still existed in the days of Augustus. Strabo wrote
        > of it; so did Pliny the Younger. The story of those who founded it,
        > those who for long centuries preserved it, is a fascinating one to
        > unravel."
        >
        > And, the heading under the photograph of other tombs excavated:
        > "Phoenician Tombs Unearthed Near Cadiz
        > These burial places and many coins are practically the only relics
        > of the Phoenicians who flourished here more than a thousand years
        > before the Christian Era."
        >
        > Other relevant portions of the article:
        > "...Halfway around the bay curve, between Algeciras and La Linea, is
        > the site of Carteia, one of the oldest cities in western Europe. It
        > was on of the first trading posts established by the Phoenicians.
        > To these earliest "commercial travelers" Spain owes its
        > name. "Span," or "Spania," they called it, the "remote,"
        > or "hidden," land.
        > It was sometime around 1400 B.C. that the Phoenicians, after
        > planting their colonies on the shores of the Mediterranean, dared at
        > last to sail past the Pillars of Hercules, here to found Carteia, in
        > the shadow of the great Rock, and Cadiz farther to the west.
        > Wheat, wine, wool, gold, silver, and lesser metals, salted eels
        > of Tartessus, and Tyrian tunny were now borne eastward from Spain."
        >
        > Anyone have any thoughts or knowledge as to the sarcophagus or the
        > tombs excavated? They must still be in a museum somewhere in
        > Spain. I find it hard to believe that they date from before 1100
        > B.C., as is claimed, the Phoenicians are traditionally believed to
        > have made settlements in the south of the Iberian Peninsula c. 1100
        > B.C., although the archaeological evidence would indicate a date of
        > about 300 years later.
        >
        > -Michael
        >
      • stumpe22
        Mary, I feel the same way about current National Geographic issues. There was one issue that had an interesting article about an early Scythian find. I have a
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 10, 2006
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          Mary, I feel the same way about current National Geographic issues.
          There was one issue that had an interesting article about an early
          Scythian find.

          I have a fascination with the ancient Phoenician presence in
          southern Spain.

          This 1924 issue my grandmother(who saves everthing, she even has
          newspaper articles from when Pearl Harbor was bombed) is awesome
          it's all on Spain.

          Back then racial classifactions also tended to dominate much of the
          content of historical and archaeological reading material.

          -Michael




          --- In imperialrome2@..., "Mary Harrsch"
          <mharrsch@u...> wrote:
          >
          > Michael, sorry for a late response to this interesting post. I'm
          > afraid I have not visited Spain yet so I don't know if this
          > sarcophagus is still exhibited at a museum there or not. Richard
          > recently went to Spain. Maybe he can shed some light on this find.
          > Fascinating articles like this made the early National Geographic a
          > must read. I'm afraid I've become a bit disillusioned with their
          > current issues, however. Several years ago they seemed to turn more
          > towards travel type material rather than archaeological study. I
          > rarely read more than one article per issue now.
          >
          >
          > --- In imperialrome2@..., "stumpe22"
          > <mytoyneighborhood@s...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I know this is unrelated to the subject matter of this group,
          but I
          > > was interested in some academic feedback after coming across
          this
          > > article.
          > > I apologize that this is rather unrelated to Roman history, but
          when
          > > I came across this article it made me want to get some academic
          > > feedback.
          > >
          > > My grandmother gave me a National Geographic magazine today that
          > > she's saved, and the date of the issue is August, 1924. In it
          is an
          > > interesting article about tombs (and one in particular)
          excavated in
          > > Cadiz, Spain between 1887 and 1890 that are claimed to be
          Phoenician
          > > and dating to the period 1400 to 1100 B.C. I will scan and post
          a
          > > picture from the magazine of one sarcophagus in particular, and
          put
          > > it in the files section.
          > >
          > > As the issue is from 1924, I am a little skeptical, but the
          relevant
          > > portions of the article reads as follows:
          > >
          > > first, the heading under the picture of the sarcophagus
          excavated in
          > > 1887 reads:
          > >
          > > "A Phoenician Tomb, Probably that of the First High Priest of
          the
          > > Phoenician Colony of Cadiz
          > > A marble sarcophagus of from 1400 to 1100 B.C. was discovered
          in
          > > 1887 while leveling the ground for the maritime exposition
          outside
          > > the city walls. The sculptured figure resembles an ancient
          Assyrian
          > > (curls), while the features are Semitic. The tomb probably
          stood in
          > > a niche of the Temple of Hercules. It is thought that a Greek
          > > sculptor was employed to create this figure in advance of the
          > > priest's death."
          > >
          > > the relevant part of the main article reads:
          > >
          > > "Cadiz is Spain's Chief Atlantic Port
          > > With its splendid harbor and modern docks, the peninsular
          city is
          > > Spain's chief Atlantic port. There are two large shipyards
          outside
          > > the walls, but they were idle at the time of my visit.
          > > It was while laying out one of these shipyards, in 1890, that
          the
          > > second of a series of great archeological discoveries was made.
          > > Three years before, while leveling the ground for the Maritime
          > > Exposition, the first of the tombs were unearthed.
          > > These proved to be of the earliest Phoenician period. The
          most
          > > important find was a tomb containing the marvelously carved
          marble
          > > casket of a priest of the Temple of Hercules, which once stood
          on a
          > > shore of Cadiz Bay. For years Dr. Pelayo Quintero Atauri, one
          of
          > > Spain's foremost archeologists, has been laboriously patching
          > > together the fragments of this strange story from out the mists
          of
          > > the past.
          > > There was, it seems, long centuries ago, a smaller island
          very
          > > near to the land on which Cadiz now stands. Either on this
          smaller
          > > island or at the base of the present peninsula stood the temple
          of a
          > > race of sun-worshipers, whose high priest made human sacrifice.
          It
          > > is the likeness of this priest, carved on the lid of the marble
          > > sarcophagus, that I have seen in the Archeological Museum in
          Cadiz.
          > > It is a most wonderful sarcophagus. So skillfully is the
          figure
          > > carved that the man himself seems to lie before you. His
          features
          > > are Semitic-eyelids heavy, lips full, nose curved. The curly
          hair
          > > and beard are Assyrian.
          > > He wears a long tunic and his feet are bare. His left hand
          > > holds a human heart; his right is in the position to hold a
          knife,
          > > although no knife is there. Thus is the priest depicted in the
          > > supreme moment of sacrifice.
          > > The marble probably came from Almeria, on the Mediterranean
          > > coast of Spain. The sculptor was, perhaps, a Greek, who carved
          the
          > > figure during the priest's lifetime. Within the casket a
          skeleton
          > > was found.
          > > In this and in many other tombs since unearthed have been
          found
          > > beautifully engraved gold amulets, necklaces, bracelets, and
          funeral
          > > rings. One of the seal rings carries an inscription as yet
          > > untranslated. From the careful study of jewelry, weapons, and
          > > pottery, the Cadiz scientist has made many deductions.
          > > The temple still existed in the days of Augustus. Strabo
          wrote
          > > of it; so did Pliny the Younger. The story of those who founded
          it,
          > > those who for long centuries preserved it, is a fascinating one
          to
          > > unravel."
          > >
          > > And, the heading under the photograph of other tombs excavated:
          > > "Phoenician Tombs Unearthed Near Cadiz
          > > These burial places and many coins are practically the only
          relics
          > > of the Phoenicians who flourished here more than a thousand
          years
          > > before the Christian Era."
          > >
          > > Other relevant portions of the article:
          > > "...Halfway around the bay curve, between Algeciras and La
          Linea, is
          > > the site of Carteia, one of the oldest cities in western
          Europe. It
          > > was on of the first trading posts established by the
          Phoenicians.
          > > To these earliest "commercial travelers" Spain owes its
          > > name. "Span," or "Spania," they called it, the "remote,"
          > > or "hidden," land.
          > > It was sometime around 1400 B.C. that the Phoenicians, after
          > > planting their colonies on the shores of the Mediterranean,
          dared at
          > > last to sail past the Pillars of Hercules, here to found
          Carteia, in
          > > the shadow of the great Rock, and Cadiz farther to the west.
          > > Wheat, wine, wool, gold, silver, and lesser metals, salted
          eels
          > > of Tartessus, and Tyrian tunny were now borne eastward from
          Spain."
          > >
          > > Anyone have any thoughts or knowledge as to the sarcophagus or
          the
          > > tombs excavated? They must still be in a museum somewhere in
          > > Spain. I find it hard to believe that they date from before
          1100
          > > B.C., as is claimed, the Phoenicians are traditionally believed
          to
          > > have made settlements in the south of the Iberian Peninsula c.
          1100
          > > B.C., although the archaeological evidence would indicate a date
          of
          > > about 300 years later.
          > >
          > > -Michael
          > >
          >
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