Cádiz, in search of the lost temple: found compatible remains with the mythical temple of Hercules | Culture



An investigation has found remains that could correspond to the mythical Phoenician-Punic temple of Melqart and Hercules in Cádiz, in an area between Camposoto (San Fernando) and Sancti Petri, in Chiclana, a finding that, if confirmed, could solve one of the great unknowns of archeology.

The structure, located at a depth of between five and three meters and with dimensions of 300 meters long and 150 wide, has been located in an area between Sancti Petri (Chiclana de la Frontera) and Camposoto (San Fernando).

Its location has been made thanks to remote sensing methods carried out by Ricardo Belizón Aragón and Antonio Sáez Romero, from the Department of Prehistory and Archeology of the University of Seville, who have scrutinized aerial images of the area, from documents of the National Geographic Institute to spellings of a American flight of 1956 and have subjected them to digital processes that have allowed to visualize the structure and many others.

Breakwaters and port structure

Because next to it, remains of what could be breakwaters, an interior port structure and other buildings have been found that would indicate that there was a Roman city that could be the size of Baelo Claudia, a completely different social landscape from what was estimated until now in this area where the Melqart temple was sought (Heracles for the Greeks and Hercules for the Romans).

The structure found correlates with the information that classical authors such as Strabo, Silio Italicus, Posidonius or Filostrato gave about this famous sanctuary, which they described in a changing environment, subject to the tides and near the coast.

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Signs from the 18th century

Since the 18th century, remains (coins, sculptures …) have been located that confirmed that the temple sought was in that area and since the 70s of the 20th century, various archaeological interventions and surveys have been carried out that have served to locate other remains , but not to locate the temple.

The investigation that has been revealed this Wednesday believes to have found the platform on which this sought-after temple was located.

The researcher Ricardo Belizón has shown his joy and “impact” for having made this finding in the course of the work for his doctoral thesis and has shown, along with Antonio Sáez, cautious: “we are scientists, time and research will tell us whether it is or not “, they have commented after explaining that now a work of” many many years “is beginning to corroborate their theory. Right now it is a conjecture, they have affirmed.

Difficulties due to sea currents and poor visibility

Tasks that are difficult because the space is subjected to sea currents, poor visibility and tides, which barely allow diving surveys for three hours in a row.

The delegate in Cádiz of the Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage, Mercedes Colombo, has assured today in the presentation of this research at the Underwater Archeology Center of Cádiz, that the necessary funds will be obtained to continue this research given “the importance of “of the find and its” great archaeological interest “.

The director of the Department of Prehistory and Archeology of the University of Seville, Francisco José García, has assured that it is a “first level” find, of “enormous historical importance” because “it is part of the DNA of Western culture and the history of Andalusia “.

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“The find is spectacular”

He praised the “discretion”, the “meticulousness” and the prudence of the investigation: “I am reluctant to the archeology-spectacle that is in vogue now, but in this case the find is spectacular.”

This finding is the result of collaboration between researchers from the University of Seville and the Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage, within the framework of the “Ergasteria Project”.

The place where this structure has been found is about four kilometers from the one recently pointed out by another investigation by experts from the universities of Córdoba and Cádiz, who located the oldest and most famous sanctuary in the West in the Cerro de los Mártires in San Fernando. and not on the islet of Sancti Petri, the place where he had been searched until then and where he could have been definitively located.




cadenaser.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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