Santiponce Itálica


An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Artificial Copper Age Caves - El Negrón


This necropolis is one of the few examples of artificial copper age cave tombs, since in that period the use of dolmens was the norm. Other similar tombs have been discovered in the immediate surroundings of Lora de Estepa, Pedrera and Alameda. There are also some near Lisbon, but they are very rare. Tombs of this kind are usually excavated in clayey, limestone marls.

Discovered by chance in 1985, this artificial cave consists of a central vaulted chamber, four niches giving onto this chamber and a staggered entrance passage. It is a structure excavated and carved in the subsoil for burial purposes. Next to the recovered cave, there are two other caves, in worse condition, which once cleaned of vegetation, have been sealed and protected to prevent damage and vandalism.

The presence on the site of materials unrelated to the local environment such as ivory, metals or sea shells suggests the existence of a population with a complex economy, possibly linked to the use of lithic resources or quarries for not only domestic but also commercial purposes.

The Necropolis was excavated in 1985, the artefacts being taken to the Museum of Seville in the same year. 30 years later, following their restoration, they were returned to Gilena, where they can be seen in the new Gilena Museum Collection, in a montage in the so-called "Sala de la Muerte" (Hall of Death).

This Site Museum is based around the Copper Age necropolis, which dates back 4,500 years. The entrance to the so-called "Artificial Antonian Cave" is remarkable. Here, visitors can see its splendid funerary offerings, some of the best preserved in Europe. 

Given the importance of the site and its high scientific value, it has been made open to the public, since it is the most monumental and best preserved artificial copper age cave in Europe, besides being a complement to the Museum Collection, which has the complete set of funerary offerings in its permanent exhibition.

Opening times

Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.


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