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Roman Mausoleum

Roman Mausoleum

This site is located below the Plaza del Reloj in Calle Villa. Excavations have been left open and the visitor can see the foundations of the roman building. 

The upper room was probably mausoleum with a funeral chapel.  Inside the crypt debris has been recovered which would have been decorative element of the original building.  Of interest are fragments of marble slabs whose origin is several different quarries from around the Mediterranean and numerous  coloured pieces of mosaic.   

This style and type of roman  funeral monument  is common across the Roman Empire and is associated with the spread of Christianity.

It would have been built by the owner of a large family villa, which was located to the west of the mausoleum.  Foundation of the residential villa's walls and floors have also been excavated alongside  salting basins and amphorae kilns used for the export of salted fish.   In the vicinity is also a burial ground of the 2nd to 6th Century AD. 

The mausoleum was abandoned and looted in the sixth century AD and was further damaged by the construction of the towns  defensive walls during the Moorish occupation in the 13th Century. An interesting collection of Islamic pottery including a jug with epigraphic decoration  was found here and is now exhibited  in the Estepona Archaeological Museum

A alternative theory is that the 12m tall two-storey tower was a Roman lighthouse. It is known they existed to protect the fishing.


Calle Villa, old town centre