Archaeology

PLAZA DE ESPAÑA (ÉCIJA’S MAIN SQUARE)

It is the heart of the city, the historical and social centre for leisure in Écija, probably since the 15th century. Plaza de España is located upon important archaeological remains; some of them are to be found in the square itself, such as a Roman pond and pieces of a convent dedicated to Imperial worship which dates back to the 1st century. There have also been some discoveries of Muslim remains belonging to the Arabian city that was settled afterwards in the area.

Since the Medieval Age, it has been a square with Castilian porticos. The perimeter of the square is enclosed by different balconies, such as those belonging to the Church of San Francisco or those in Palaces of Peñaflor and Benamejí, as well as the 19th century façade of the City Hall.

ROMAN POND

There was originally a Roman temple upon a huge South-oriented podium, where the colonial forum was settled. Behind it there was a monumental pond from the end of the 1st century BC which has remained practically intact until present day.

Inside the pond there have been discoveries of rich architectural, epigraphic and sculptural remains, which can be visited in the rooms of the City Museum of History of Écija. Among the pieces found in the pond we must emphasize a numerous and homogeneous set of “ideal sculpture”, for which a Hadrian chronology has been proposed. The “Wounded Amazon” (which dates back to the period between the years 117 and 138 BC), was also found inside the pond. Its origin is settled in the city of Athens.

Within this set of pieces, which is likely to have decorated the outdoor esplanade located behind the aforementioned Roman temple, the “Sciarra”-type Amazon is noteworthy. This marble-carved Amazon model is the first one to have been found in Hispania. Attributed to Polykleitos or Kresilas, it has remained practically intact until present day, preserving even remains of its original polychromy.

Source: Sergio Gracía Dils, archaeologist of Écija.

ROYAL ALCÁZAR OF ÉCIJA. ARCHAEOLOGICAL Site plaza de armas

Among the relevant architectural discoveries found in recent years in the province of Baetica, the “Wounded Amazon” stands out due to its importance, artistic merit and state of conservation. Found in Écija in 2002, it is a statue which dates from the 2nd century AD, a copy of an originally Greek model which dates back from the 4th century.

Among these finds, the replica of the Sciarra Amazon is especially worth emphasizing. It was neither a coincidental nor separate discovery; but it actually was found during the excavations carried out in the city centre of the city of Écija, which is besides the monumental zone of the former Roman city. The new replica is one of an ideal, numerous and varied set of sculptures, which is at present exhibited in the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Écija.

Upon discovery it was possible to realize that the statue had been intentionally hidden at the beginning of the 4th century, as it was protected by slabs of ashlar stone and presenting an acceptable state. There were actually only little breaks in fragile zones such as the feet, the ankles, the left hand or the plinth shaft on which the left forearm leans on. Thanks to the later restoration, it looks nowadays like the whole that it formerly was, except from several finger fragments. It also presents a special feature: the former polychromy can be still appreciated in the hair, eyes, the tunic and the plinth on which the statue stands.

This fact deserves to be taken into account for several reasons: firstly, because certain aspects related to the reconstruction of this copy can be contrasted, thanks to the preservation of the missing elements in the different models; secondly, because it is possible to establish Ecijan replica’s degree of fidelity to the original and thirdly, because depending on the latter, we can value the work made by the copyist, as well as the “artistic approach” they adopted.

CITY MUSEUM OF HISTORY OF ÉCIJA. PALACE OF BENAMEJÍ

In this museum we can visit the interesting collection of metal pieces from the Prehistory, as well as the three warrior stelae or the “Placa de Écija”, a singular piece with Tartessian goldsmithing. Furthermore, splendid Roman mosaics and sculptures such as the “Wounded Amazon” or interesting collections of inscriptions, capitals, mosaics of some materials of domestic use from the Roman and Islamic periods.

THE WOUNDED AMAZON

Among the relevant architectural discoveries found in recent years in the province of Baetica, the “Wounded Amazon” stands out due to its importance, artistic merit and state of conservation. Found in Écija in 2002, it is a statue which dates from the 2nd century AD, a copy of an originally Greek model which dates back from the 4th century.

Among these finds, the replica of the Sciarra Amazon is especially worth emphasizing. It was neither a coincidental nor separate discovery; but it actually was found during the excavations carried out in the city centre of the city of Écija, which is besides the monumental zone of the former Roman city. The new replica is one of an ideal, numerous and varied set of sculptures, which is at present exhibited in the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Écija.

Upon discovery it was possible to realize that the statue had been intentionally hidden at the beginning of the 4th century, as it was protected by slabs of ashlar stone and presenting an acceptable state. There were actually only little breaks in fragile zones such as the feet, the ankles, the left hand or the plinth shaft on which the left forearm leans on. Thanks to the later restoration, it looks nowadays like the whole that it formerly was, except from several finger fragments. It also presents a special feature: the former polychromy can be still appreciated in the hair, eyes, the tunic and the plinth on which the statue stands.

This fact deserves to be taken into account for several reasons: firstly, because certain aspects related to the reconstruction of this copy can be contrasted, thanks to the preservation of the missing elements in the different models; secondly, because it is possible to establish Ecijan replica’s degree of fidelity to the original and thirdly, because depending on the latter, we can value the work made by the copyist, as well as the “artistic approach” they adopted.

MOSAICO DE LOS OCÉANOS (“OCEAN MOSAIC”).
From around the 4th century AD. It is a late-era mosaic that served as the floor of a bedroom in an urban household (a domus of the Roman city of Astigi). In the centre you can observe the head of Oceanus (a beared god with tangled hair) with a jet of water flowing from his mouth, surrounded by four birds perched on the branches of trees, alluding to the four seasons. The figure of Oceanus to a certain degree represents the protection of commercial prosperity and good fortune.

MOSAICO EL DON DEL VINO (“EL DON DEL VINO MOSAIC”).
It is a magnificent polychromatic mosaic from around the 2nd century AD which shows a Dionysian procession and scenes related to the myth of the discovery of wine, a divine gift. It is at present exhibited in the Pavilion of Andalusia during the Expo in 1992.

MOSAICO DE LAS ESTACIONES DEL AÑO (“MOSAIC OF THE SEASONS”).
From the second half of the 2nd century AD or beginning of the 3rd AD. It is a very unique polychromatic mosaic. Each corner represents elements of different seasons of the year.

MOSAICO DEL TRIUNFO DE BACO (“MOSAIC OF THE TRIUMPH OF BACCUS”).
From the second half of the 2nd century AD, it is a fragment of a much-larger mosaic whose emblem (the central medallion) represents the god Baccus riding a chariot pulled by male and female centaurs. Around the emblem we can observe allegorical figures representing the four seasons and scenes from Greek mythology.

MOSAICO DE LAS NEREIDAS (“MOSAIC OF THE NEREIDS”).
This mosaic dates from the second half of the 2nd century AD. It is a fragment which represents an ocean scene, notable for its considerable use of glass-blown mosaic tiles (green, blue…).

MOSAICO DEL DOBLE RAPTO (“MOSAIC OF THE DOUBLE ABDUCTION”).

3rd century AD mosaic. A curious double representation of two myths of a double abduction by Zeus-Jupiter: the abduction of Ganymede, showing Jupiter transformed into an eagle, and that of Europa, where he has been transformed into a bull.

More than 80 Roman mosaics have appeared in Écija. Other noteworthy mosaics are the sacrifice of the Queen Circe, the Triumph of Baccus (exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Sevilla) and a mosaic showing circus scenes.