Day 29 Oriental cockle floors in Spain

Los Castillejos de Alcorrín is a fortified Phoenician settlement from the 9th century BC not far from Malaga. It is evidence of the Phoenicians’ far-flung trading network across the entire Mediterranean and is an important site in Phoenician research conducted by the DAI Madrid.

Detail of the sea shells in the floor (Photo: D-DAI-MAD-AKB-DG-022-2012-0439)

Alcorrín is a striking illustration of what resulted from the Phoenicians’ meeting with indigenous peoples, from which an orientalizing hybrid culture developed. An attractive example is the sea shell flooring along the buildings’ external walls, a practice that draws on traditions in the Near East. There, too, the sea shells Glycimeris and Acanthocardia were laid close together to make floors.

Excavation of a Phoenician house with a rectangular ground plan (Photo: D-DAI-MAD-FER-DG-016-2010-195)
Cockle floor in one of the houses of Alcorrín (Photo: Patterson, DAI Madrid)

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