Step back in time, thousands of years ago along Costa Tropical. The waves from the beautiful blue sea were lapping on the shore, people were living here and making ceramics and crafts. They were protected and surrounded by the lush Granada mountains and hills and life was good. When people passed away, their burial grounds were placed up on the hills, the Phoenician Necropolis. People were buried in their tombs with goods and belongings, all right here on the Granada coast!
The Phoenician Necropolis is located just off of Calle el Tesoro, behind IES Antigua Sexi, perched above the town. As you approach the site, on Calle el Tesoro, look to the right for spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, the town, as well as the chirimoya farm below.
Phoenician Necropolis of Puente de Noy
Just after that spectacular view, to your left you will find the Phoenician Necropolis of Puente Noy. This was discovered when digging on the land and tombs are on either side of the road, behind the chain link fence.
The Noy Bridge (Puente de Noy) is an ancient Phoenician burial ground of 132 tombs dating back to the 8th century B.C. The Puente de Noy and the Necropolis Laurita are Almuñecar’s best architectural remains from the Phoenician-Punic period, long before Roman settlement. The Puente de Noy tombs were excavated during 1979-1993 and it was declared a national historic site by the Ministry of Culture in 1980.
The Tombs of the Phoenician Empire
The tombs consist of large rectangular graves dug into the rocky hillside where the deceased would be buried along with symbolic earthly belongings such as jewelry and shrouds. The site is a popular destination of archaeologists and is along the “Route of the Phoenicians” as designated by the European Union. The site can be identified by the large metal structures constructed to cover the grounds and protect the burial sites from the elements, although the canvas awning has since been removed.
The rectangular tombs were about two meters by three meters and were chosen as a funeral resting area, in this ideal location. The graves each had a lateral ledge on one or both of its longer sides. These ledges were used to seal the grave with planks and red clay. Then it was filled in with dirt. On a few occasions the planks were replaced by stone slabs, placed horizontally or at an angle, like a gabled roof. Almost all of them were topped with adobe, but there were also several covered with stones.
Phoenician glass, pottery, Ceramics, belongings
Within the tombs were remains of pottery, bodies and other artifacts. Among the many archaeological discoveries made, the most important was that of a corpse with her jewelry. It was buried in the bottom of a tomb that was previously excavated in the rock. Grave #4 in Zone C, is from the end of the 7th Century BC. This is likely the most noteworthy of the tombs in this area. A chamber constructed with masonry and its access is via a restored stepped corridor.
The nearby Laurita Necropolis, located on the Cerro de San Cristobal, has remains from the late eighth century BC. The highlights in this necropolis were the wonderful funerary objects, a set of glasses carved from hard stone and alabaster. Greek vases were also found there, as well as magnificent jewels and typically Phoenician pottery. Many of the items discovered are displayed in the town museums.
More Just discovered 2017
Exciting news, another Phoenician burial ground was just discovered in 2017 to the east of Taramay, up in the hills. It is likely there are many more around with buried secrets, stories and history.
Monument to the Phoenicians
Along the Paseo del Altillo you will see the Monument to Phoenicians. This is a tribute to the Phoenician culture and its contribution to the history of Almuñécar. It was built after the Phoenician Necropolis was unearthed nearby and their ancient mysteries discovered.
Click here to read more on the Phoenicians in the Spanish Peninsula.
Click here to read more about the Phoenician people and where they come from.
Looking for more things to do Almuñécar?
If this wasn’t enough for you or you want more adventurous activities, please review our full list of Things To Do in Almuñécar, including 1/2 day and full day trips from Almuñécar.