A REMARKABLY well-maintained Roman necropolis, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, has been unearthed in southern Spain.

The discovery, located on the construction site of the future Dry Port of Antequera, has been recently announced by the Mayor of Antequera, Manuel Baron, the municipal delegate for Heritage, Ana Cebrián, and the director of the Antequera Museum, Manuel Romero.

The burial mound includes both cremations and inhumations, 24 and 30 respectively.

Among the tombs, a lead sarcophagus with the remains of two individuals aged between 14 and 16 years and a baby about three months old, has been found.

This tomb, which has been numbered 307, also contained the body of another adolescent girl of a similar age and a four-month-old baby and clearly represents, what at the time was the most numerous and representative of the necropolis, a double-urn grave, where the tombs were superimposed one on top of the other.

Although double burials of that era are considered relatively frequent, the Antequera museum curator has specified that this particular tomb contained an ‘abundant’ trousseau, rare to ancient Rome.

In fact the recently unearthed tomb contained 15 glass ointments, two jars of the same material, 25 tokens from the game “ludus latrunculorum” (game of thieves: a two-player strategy board game played throughout the Roman Empire and believed to be most popular game in Ancient Rome), a coin from the middle of the 2nd century AD and several glass paste beads.

Meanwhile, the superimposed burial contained 17 tokens from the same game, paste beads, 6 glass marbles and a 2nd century AD lucerne (Roman oil lamp).

These elements, together with the sarcophagus and the human remains, have been taken to the Antequera Museum for further research and proper conservation.

Antequera has one of the largest and most important prehistoric burial sites in Spain, dating from the Bronze Age.

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