The Treasure of the Carambolo celebrates 60 years of its discovery still hidden in a vault

The Treasure of the Carambolo celebrates 60 years of its discovery still hidden in a vault

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The famous Carambolo Treasure It was last exposed to the public in 2012 and its return to the showcase depends on the delayed renovation of the Archaeological Museum of Seville.

Anniversaries, new years, silver weddings, etc., can be much more than just pretexts for commemorations sometimes more prompted by the calendar than by spirits. Better than mere celebrations the ephemeris may well be understood as obligatory stops along the way, to reflect on the past, the present and the challenges of the future.

Perhaps for this reason, for fear of reflecting the present and the uncertainty of the future, the authorities of the land where the famous Carambolo Treasure have chosen to miss the 60th anniversary of their discovery.

Specific, the Carambolo Treasure was discovered by mere chance on September 30, 1958 on a hill in the Sevillian town of Camas from which it takes its name, within the framework of the expansion works of the facilities that the Royal Pichón Shooting Society had there.

The discovery of the lavish trousseau, made up of 21 pieces of 24 carat gold meticulously worked between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, immediately captured the expectation of the world of archeology at that time and of society as a whole.

And it is that as the archaeologists José Luis Escacena and Fernando Amores explain in their study ‘Clothed as God intended. The treasure of the Carambolo as consecration trousseau’, That discovery meant“a true change of era in the protohistoric historiography of the south of the Iberian Peninsula", Especially because" that day Tartessos began to pass from myth to history”.

Because after the fortuitous location of this spectacular treasure, the Cerro del Carambolo was the object of a campaign of archaeological excavations directed by Juan de Mata Carriazo and Juan Maluquer, who found a fascinating site The chronology of which starts in the Copper Age and covers the late Bronze Age and Protohistory.

In this site, the architectural vestiges of superimposed and successive constructions promoted approximately between the 9th and 6th centuries BC and attributed to an ancient Tartessian or "orientalizing" sanctuary. The experts, in more detail, distinguish up to “five constructive episodes”In this enclave currently interpreted as a Phoenician ceremonial center.

A true "milestone" for archeology

Precisely for this reason, the decree that declares it as an asset of cultural interest with the category of archaeological zone the top of the Cerro del Carambolo, with the famous treasure linked to said figure of protection, determines that the site, together with the golden trousseau and other votive offerings and vestiges also discovered there, constitute “a milestone and a reference in the knowledge of the historical periods of the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula”.

The archaeologists Álvaro Fernández and Araceli Rodríguez, who led the extensive excavation campaign undertaken between 2002 and 2004 in the Carambolo, in fact stated in their final report that this historic enclave is “one of the most emblematic Andalusia"And one of the Tartessian sites"about which more has been written", Both for the discovery of the" known treasure "and for the site itself.

Because despite the passage of time, the Treasure of the Carambolo continues to arouse the interest of scientists and archeology fans, as reflected in the multiple investigations promoted on the fabulous trousseau in recent times.

We speak, for example, of the work published in 2010 by María Luisa de la Bandera and Eduardo Ferrer with the title ‘The Carambolo. 50 years of treasure', The aforementioned 2012 study by José Luis Escacena and Fernando Amores, a further investigation completed in 2016 by the National Center for Accelerators on goldsmithing techniques used to carve the gold pieces, or a recent study on the origin of the treasure undertaken by the universities of Huelva and the Basque Country, with the collaboration of the Archaeological Museum of Seville.

However, this iconic golden trousseau is not visible to the general public, but jealously guarded in a vault while the Museum of Archeology of Seville and the City Hall of the Andalusian capital They only exhibit the replicas of the treasure carved in their day by the prestigious goldsmith Fernando Marmolejo.

The situation of the Archaeological Museum of Seville

And is that, although the Carambolo Treasure is attached to the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Seville, owned by the state but managed by the Junta de Andalucía, such a building does not have sufficient security guarantees to display a set of gold pieces such as the one at hand.

Necessary go back to 2012, in fact, to remember the last time the original treasure was exposed in full to the public, since then it was announced that the Carambolo would remain permanently in view of the visitors of the Archaeological Museum, but a few months later it was replaced by one of the replicas.

In order to definitely display your star piece, The Museum of Archeology of Seville has been waiting for years and years for a comprehensive reform and modernization project with which all the rulers have committed themselves, without it being a reality so far.

And although the last general state budget (PGE) finally included an economic item for this project, it was only 130,000 euros for updating the design drawn up in its day by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra to renovate the museum, which continues to await its much-needed rehabilitation.

So, in this final stretch of 2018, the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the treasure of the Carambolo has passed without any gesture on the part of the cultural authoritiesPerhaps because around the Carambolo there is not much to celebrate, given the situation suffered by both the fabulous trousseau and the archaeological site.

But the future of the Carambolo enclave is another story, which deserves its own chapter.

Europa Press journalist, collaborator of "Sevillanos de Guardia" in Onda Cero Radio and collaborator writer in MRN Aljarafe.

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