With Iberian, Hittite, and Syrian Elements, Who Built the Magnificent Mausoleum of Pozo Moro?

With Iberian, Hittite, and Syrian Elements, Who Built the Magnificent Mausoleum of Pozo Moro?

(Read the article on one page)

Spain is a country with a multicultural history, where even the best-qualified archaeologists may discover sites, artifacts, and stories that change all previous knowledge about a given topic. When researchers unearthed the mausoleum of Pozo Moro, they couldn't believe the incredible connection of styles characteristic of Iberian, Hittite, and Syrian art.

Via Augusta is a famous ancient Roman road that passed through the cities of Gades (Cádiz), Carthago Nova (Cartagena), Valentia (Valencia), Saguntum (Sagunto), Tarraco (Tarragona), Barcino (Barcelona). Gerunda (Girona), Hispalis (Seville), Corduba (Córdoba), Emerita Augusta (Mérida), Brigantinum (A Coruña), etc. Researchers unearthed hundreds of priceless archaeological sites around this ancient route with outspokenly beautiful and priceless artifacts that shed light on the life of people who settled these lands millennia ago. The sophisticated puzzle made of pieces from the past is never-ending work, like in the Augean Stables. The sites are full of precious findings buried in such incredible numbers, that it seems to be impossible to dig all of them up from the soil.

Map of Iberian Peninsula in 125 including important roads, legionnaire locations and gold/silver mines.

Map of Iberian Peninsula in 125 including important roads, legionnaire locations and gold/silver mines. ( Public Domain ) Note the Via Augusta is called the ‘Via Herculea’ on this map.

The Discovery of a Forgotten Story

Excavations in Spain are often like a mixed box of chocolates - filled with surprising cultural flavors. In the case of the site of Pozo Moro, it is a remarkable cemetery, a huge ancient necropolis. It is located about 125 km (77.67 miles) from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and 840 meters (2755.91 ft.) above sea level. The location seems to have been meaningful for the people who created it about 2,500 years ago. It must be related to their beliefs.

The Pozo Moro Monument in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, Spain.

The Pozo Moro Monument in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, Spain. ( Museo Arqueológico Nacional )

During excavations in 1970, researchers unearthed a surprising burial place known as the Mausoleum of Pozo Moro. Research about pre-Roman cultures of Iberia were quite advanced at the time, but still contained many questionable elements and gaps. The first shocking fact was that the Mausoleum had been dated back to a period full of mysteries. But as the researchers continued their work, specialists discovered an overwhelming amount of information that changed the knowledge about the history of Albacete Province, where the site is located.

Excavations at the site.

Excavations at the site. ( senderosesotericos)

Exploring the Mausoleum

The marvelous mausoleum is known as the oldest Iberian burial monument. It is dated back to circa 500 BC and belonged to a forgotten ruler. The mausoleum’s elements had been scattered across a site 12 x 12 meters (39 x 39 ft). When the researchers carefully collected all the remaining pieces, they took it to the Museo Arqueológico Nacional de España in Madrid, where they reconstructed it. The process was long and very complicated, but due to their impressive knowledge, it was possible to recover the mausoleum after centuries.

View of the site during excavations.

View of the site during excavations. ( iberosalbacetemurcia.es)

It is known that it was erected by an Iberian king, but a great deal of other information has been lost. The mausoleum had been made with rectangular blocks. Altogether the construction measured about 10 meters (32 ft.) in height and its walls had been beautifully decorated with depictions of deities. It had a three-level pedestal shaped in a square that was almost 4 meters (13 ft.) wide. Moreover, four lions were located around the mausoleum. All of this created an image of a mausoleum with traditions from Middle Eastern countries. Research suggests visible influences of Syrian and Hittite art.

Detail of one of the lions.

Detail of one of the lions. (Luis García/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

“The cremation of the grave-goods together with the body leaves us with little to study but their remains are enough to provide a few guidelines. There are remains of objects made of different raw materials (at least pottery, gold, silver, bronze, iron and bone; see Almagro-Gorbea 1983: 184 ff.). However, there are no iron fragments which can be identified as weapons, although the remains are in very poor condition. One still finds the same sort of ritual-set described above for the Orientalizing Period, but with a different emphasis: the bronze jug is now of Greek and not of Oriental type and manufacture, and the bronze brazier has been replaced by an Attic kylix of the Pithos Painter group. Finally, this philohellenic prince was buried with an Attic lekythos instead of alabaster perfume pots. In all, it seems that Greek influence was beginning to supersede the earlier, Orientalizing (Semitic) tradition. Finally, the burial I have described was placed under a turrifonn funerary monument of imposing size and decoration of which more will be said later.'' (s.17)


I find these articles very informative and interesting.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Cro-Magnon man communicating with each other and producing cave drawings
How human language began has been a question pestering researchers for centuries. One of the biggest issues with this topic is that empirical evidence is still lacking despite our great advances in...

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article