The Museum of Iberian Art of Cigarralejo de Mula inaugurates next Wednesday, March 29, five new rooms dedicated to the Sanctuary, which will become a new permanent exhibition space on the ground floor of the museum. In this way, the musealization of this important collection puts a fundamental element of Iberian culture at the service of citizens.
Next May 11 will mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of this museum infrastructure, where a magnificent representation of selected objects is exhibited among the 547 grave goods exhumed in the Cigarralejo de Mula necropolis, excavated by Emeterio Cuadrado Díaz between 1948 and 1988. The materials from the necropolis were ceded to the Ministry of Culture and Sports in June 1986, for the purpose of their custody, exhibition, study, conservation and dissemination.
El Cigarralejo, owned by the state and managed by the autonomous community, was created in 1989. The grave goods documented in the necropolis are of great wealth and variety and are made up of metal tools used in daily tasks, weapons, indigenous or imported ceramics. from different parts of the Mediterranean and ornamental objects that approximate the life and death of the inhabitants of the town, settled on the right bank of the Mula River, between the IV-I centuries a. c.
Like the necropolis, the Sanctuary of El Cigarralejo was excavated by Emeterio Cuadrado, although the materials that were recovered from it, especially a set of ex-votos, remained in the hands of the Cuadrado Isasa family until 2003 when they were ceded to the Community.
The General Director of Cultural Heritage, Pablo Braquehais, considers it “fundamental that in this museum, devoted exclusively to Iberian culture and one of the few of this nature in the Iberian Peninsula, spirituality in the Iberian world, places of worship, the divinities to which the sanctuaries were dedicated and, finally, the offerings or ex-votos deposited by the devotees”.
“The inauguration of these rooms has been largely the result of the work carried out by the Museums and Exhibitions Service to ensure that a space in the museum was dedicated to explaining the Cigarralejo Sanctuary,” he added.
Unique sanctuary in the field of Iberian archeology
The set of ex-votos from El Cigarralejo is exceptional since most of them represent horses, some richly caparisoned, which offer a great deal of information about the beliefs of the Iberian man.
In addition, there are few cult buildings excavated using scientific methodology, making this sanctuary unique in the field of Iberian archaeology, constituting a peculiar sample of that religiosity basically consecrated to the cult of the equine as an indispensable species in the daily life of the Iberian and as a symbol of power and prestige for its owner. Another group of ex-votos from the sanctuary, less numerous, is made up of male and female characters, as well as members of the human body or small personal objects of the faithful who went there.
The new rooms of the Cigarralejo Museum dedicated to the sanctuary that are being inaugurated, have an impressive museography carried out by the studio of the architect Ángel Rocamora and executed by the company Patrimonio Inteligente, all under the scientific supervision of the person who for thirty years has been in charge of this institution, the curator of the Museums and Exhibitions Service, Virginia Page del Pozo.
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