It was always thought that it was a watchtower, and some even speculated that it could have a possible Carthaginian origin.
But what reality showed was only a hillock (Cerro de la Merced) with an almost perfect conical shape and isolated about four kilometers from Cabra (Córdoba). It was supposed to be part of a visual control system of the territory at the end of the Iberian periodor early Roman rule, perhaps in the second century BC.
But something was wrong with the archaeologists. So they took a four-meter ladder and placed it on the top, resembling the supposed tower that crowned it in its time.
The result was surprising: nothing important can be seen from the last step, not even Cabra. There were half a dozen similar nearby hills that were much more strategic and whose visibility was much greater. This had definitely never been a watchtower. The excavations began. It was 2012.
Now, in some works that are maintained and headed by Fernando Quesada, Professor of Archeology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, it is already visible what that hillock was hiding.
An aristocratic complex, a palace, of an Iberian warlord , whose imposing vestiges have been covered a few weeks ago with a protective tent to maintain their integrity and make it accessible to visitors shortly. The Iberian Museum of Jaén, and until April 15, dedicates a remarkable exhibition to him.
Sometime between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the Iberians built a building on the hill , possibly a sanctuary, which included a monument decorated with cornices painted in red and white and spectacular plant reliefs. It was strategically oriented to the east, which gave it a special quality: when the sun begins to rise, it is the first mountain to be fully illuminated.
Taking advantage of part of the plant and reusing many blocks of the old building, a great Iberian gentleman built approximately in the 3rd century BC. from C. a monumental architectural complex, a building with a square plan and two heights, with exterior cyclopean walls up to four meters thick.