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Camas (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-02 by ivan sache
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Flag of Camas - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 4 June 2014

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Presentation of Camas

The municipality of Camas (26,665 inhabitants in 2014; 1,650 ha), is located 20 km north of Seville.

Camas, according to Alonso de Morgado (Historia de Sevilla, 1587), was an Arab estate named Ebu-al-Kama, from al-qham, "wheat". A no more substantiated local tradition says that the estate was established by the Arab landlord Al-Kama. Ruled for centuries by the Council of Seville, Camas was acquired in 1631 by Diego Arias de Mendoza, Canon at Seville, after a lawsuit against Gaspar de Guzmán, the famous Count-Duque of Olivares.
[Camas Diario Digital].

Ivan Sache, 4 June 2014

Symbols of Camas

The flag of Camas (photo, photo, photo) is green with the main charge of the coat of arms in the center, the golden necklace of the Treasure of El Carambolo.

The coat of arms of Camas is prescribed by Decree No. 2,504, adopted on 2 October 1959 by the Spanish Government and published on 28 October 1969 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 358, p. 16,874 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms, validated by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Vert a necklace with seven florets or tied by a cordon of the same. A bordure argent inscribed with the motto "LOCVS AVRI CAELATI IN FINIBVS TARTESSORVM". The shield surmounted by a Royal crown open.

The Treasure of El Carambolo (presentation), dated to the 7th-6th century, was discovered on 30 September 1958 on a plot belonging to the Royal Skeet Society of Seville, located in El Carambolo, on the municipal territory of Camas. To heighten the windows of the shooting range, the architect Medina Benjumea ordered to excavate the soil 15 cm below the surface. When turning over the soil, Alonso Hinojos del Pino found a golden bracelet; the site was subsequently excavated by the archeologist Juan de Mata Carriazo y Arroquia.
The treasure is now shown in the Seville Archeology Museum. Quoting the Museum website:

The treasure is made of 21 pieces: 16 rectangular sheets, one pectoral sheet, one necklace and two bracelets. The pieces were hidden in an oval structure also rich in animal bones and pottery of the carambola style. This might have been a place dedicated to a cult or a specific ritual. The most accepted interpretation says that the jewels were used as ornament by a religious or political dignitary. All the jewels appear to have been produced by the same workshop. A more recent interpretation, based on archeological and ethnographical comparison, proposes that some of the jewels were used to decorate sacred bulls.

The Museum notice alludes to the controversial interpretation of the Treasure of El Carambolo. Juan de Mata Carriazo y Arroquia popularized the autochtonous, "Tartessian-Turdetianan" interpretation of the treasure (see the book Tartesos y El Carambolo, 1973) and reflected in the motto on the bordure of the arms of Camas, which reads "The site where gold was processed in the Tartessian country".
During the international congress Fiestas de Toros y Sociedad (Seville, 26 November - 1 December 2001), Fernando Amores Carredano and José Luis Escacena Carrasco presented the study De toros y de tesoros: simbología y función de las joyas de El Carambolo (pp. 41-68 in the acts of the congress); the authors debunked Carriazo's interpretation and provided evidence that the treasure was of Phoenician origin and probably used during ceremonies dedicated to god Baal and goddess Astarte. Subsequent investigations conducted from 2002 to 2008 appear to confirm the Phoenician interpretation, as compiled in the book El Carambolo - 50 años de un tesoro, edited in 2010 by María Luisa de la Bandera Romero and Eduardo Ferrer Albelda for the University of Seville.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 June 2014