This article has been visited 1,965 times

Cádiz Archaeological Museum in Cádiz Municipality in Cádiz Province

By Nick Nutter | 24 Jan 2018 | Museums and Galleries
Sarcophagus

Sarcophagus

Introduction

Recently refurbished, Cadiz museum is situated in the heart of the old city. Its most famous exhibit is the Phoenician male sarcophagus which was found in 1887 on the site of the Cadiz shipyards. It dates back to 450 – 400 BC. His companion, a female sarcophagus exhibits features seen on sarcophagi from about 470 BC. She, despite being apparently older, appears in pristine condition, whilst he believably, shows signs of age. Despite being the oldest city in Europe, the museum is very parochial. It concentrates on the Phoenician Tartessian and Roman periods with its Phoenician collection being particularly impressive.

Cadiz had the Phoenician status of Emporium and traders from Cadiz brought goods to Cadiz from all parts of the Mediterranean and in return exported local products throughout the known world including to the empires of Rome, Egypt and those forever changing  in the Middle East. In the museum you will see a collection of 6th – 5th Century BC amulets from Egypt, found at Punta de la Vaca. These would probably be prestige goods, gifts to local tribal leaders; during this period, Tartessian, to guarantee continued cooperation and trade. Pretty much the same ethos as that employed during the 19th Century BC throughout the British Empire.

The Romans were almost as experienced traders as the Phoenicians, the difference being that Romans tended to send goods back to Rome rather than act as middlemen for other empires. Prized local produce included  garum, a salty fish sauce, wine and olives. These were packed into amphorae, some of which were manufactured at Malaga, that were loaded into trading vessels in the harbour at Cadiz that then sailed to Rome. The museum has a decent collection of Roman amphorae.

Tartessian Jug

Tartessian Jug

Tartessian Bronze Jug

By the 7th Century BC the Tartessians were manufacturing their own high quality goods including this bronze jug, found in a grave at Huelva, displaying design features inspired by the eastern Mediterranean but retaining their own individualistic style. The Tartessians clearly did not consider themselves totally under the spell of the classical world.

Terracota Busts

Terracota Busts

Terracota Dieties

Some two hundred years later the Greeks were becoming more influential and the design of these five terracotta busts, all found in one spot in Cadiz, show that. The busts are household deities and possibly originate in Sicily.

Trajan at Baelo Claudia

Trajan at Baelo Claudia

Statue of Trajan from Baelo Claudia

Its Roman artifacts are from all over the province including the excavated town of Baelo Claudia situated just down the coast at Bolonia. The original statue of Trajan found in the basilica there is now at the museum.

Bull found at Carteia

Bull found at Carteia

Bronze Sculpture of Bull from Carteia

This bronze sculpture of a bull was found at the Roman site of Carteia near San Roque.

Fly Amulet

Fly Amulet

Fly Amulet

The museum also houses a very good collection of glassware, jewellery, ceramics and statuary from the Phoenician and Roman periods. Many of these Phoenician votive offerings were found at the site of the Temple of Melqart which is on an island called Sancti Petri just south of the city. The island was once joined to the mainland. This fly amulet is an intricate piece that demonstrates the skilled workmanship of its creator.

Since you are here ....

we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Visit Andalucia than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our articles available to as many people we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Visit Andalucia articles take a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe in the future of Andalucia – which may well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes them, helps fund them, our future would be much more secure.

For as little as 1€ you can support Visit Andalucia – and it only takes a minute.

Thank you.

We Welcome Your Comments

We'll never share your email with anyone else.

Approved Comments

Submitted by Marni on 28 Mar 2017
It's a relief to find soenome who can explain things so well

Book your Holiday



Booking.com

CONTACT Us

8 + 1 =

NEWSLETTER Subscription

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our Newsletters

8 + 1 =

If you liked this article you may also like ....

Bahia de Cádiz
Birdwatching on the Bahia de Cadiz

Puerto Real Declared a Parque Natural in 1989, the Bahia de Cadiz consists of 10,500 hectares of ........ More

Cádiz Oldest City in Europe
The Cathedral Cadiz

Cádiz is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula and........ More

If you liked this article you may be interested in ....

The Rock from Bottom to Top
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
Gibraltar - The Rock from Bottom to Top

Buy Now

UK ES USA
Mr Henderson’s Railway
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
Mr Henderson’s Railway - Algeciras to Ronda

Buy Now

UK ES USA
The Road to Manilva
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
The Road to Manilva

Buy Now

UK ES USA
The Sherry Triangle
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
The Sherry Triangle

Buy Now

UK ES USA