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Rogelio de Inchaurrandieta

Don Rogelio Inchaurrandieta, en 1890, foto del archivo familiarDon Rogelio Inchaurrandieta, in 1890, picture of the family archive. (Source : Wikipedia)

 

La Bastida was discovered in 1869 by a civil engineer, Rogelio de Inchaurrandieta. The information provided by the inhabitants of the area attracted him to the place. These people assured him that there were bone remains and ancient objects of metal in this place. He did an intense engineering and geological activity in the region, taking part in the construction of the reservoir of Puentes (Lorca), among others. Inchaurrandieta did with La Bastida the first reference to the prehistory of Totana, discovering as well other archaeological sites like El Antiguarejo, La Majadilla or Las Cabezuelas de Totana. 

His fieldwork in La Bastida lasted three days and there were involved 18 day laborers, who excavated a total of 20 graves (18 urns and two cists). Inchaurrandieta defined the site as a «necropolis». However, some hand notes of the engineer published in 1916 by the local historian José María Munuera indicate that he already noticed the presence of dwelling remains: 

“The most interesting spot is the hill of La Bastida or Bastía, which, I believe, was a large necropolis, although there is some evidence that it was also dwelling for men in a very remote period in history”…”… it is said that recently it was discovered the foundation of a building and jars with charred cereal and several graves next to it.”

The presence of ashes in some urns and the forced position in which the skeletons were deposited in its inside, make him assume that the corpses were cremated to eliminate the soft tissues and only bury the bones.

Portada de Congrès international d'anthropologie et d'archéologie préhistoriques

 

 

The collection of findings was moved to the Engineer College in Madrid, as a stopover before being stored in the National Archaeological Museum.  However, its trace was lost before being deposited.

Inchaurrandieta's work was very meritorious for that time. He described the findings in sequence, performed the scientific analysis to identify the composition of the slags and the metal objects, and drew conclusions about the chronology of the site and the character of the society that inhabited La Bastida.
 

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