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Basti - Ancient Baza

Exploring the Area

A Visit to Basti
The original city of Baza
Granada, Andalucía, Spain

The archeaological site of the Ibero-Roman city of Basti stands on the hill of Cerro Cepero at less than 3km from the centre of Baza in the province of Granada, Andalucía, Spain. The city dates back to around the 4thC or 5thC BC, although there is evidence to suggest that it was settled as far back as 8thC BC.

Basti is well worth a visit. The remnants of the city walls date back to Iberian times and the remains of a number of buildings are from the later Roman occupation. After the departure of the Romans, it is believed that, at the end of the 4thC AD, the Visigoths moved in and used the city as a military encampment. At around this time the citizens of Basti are said to have moved a couple of kilometres west to a settlement known as Los Quemaos. The people finally moved to the present location of
Baza in the 12thC. To this day, the citizens of Baza are known as Bastetanos.

Temple and La Sagra
Basti City Walls

Temple and La Sagra

Basti City Walls

To reach Basti from the A-92 motorway, take the Baza (este) turn-off, Junction 342, (the Hospital turn-off) and aim for the service station ("El Pelao") where the Hotel Abadi can clearly be seen. Just before the service station, turn right by the sign for the Club Los Rosales. Go past the Club on your right and continue along the road a little way. Turn left down a narrow dirt-track road which is approximately 50m before a large warehouse with lorries parked in front of it.

Travel 150/200m and turn right towards the hill in front of you -
Cerro Cepero. Pass an abandoned cave house - the old city walls are to the left of here - and go up the hill. Continue along the track to a parking place. You are now in Basti. You will see signs, in Spanish, giving infomation about the site.

Basilica and Cerro de Jabalcon
Temple and Forum

Basilica and Cerro de Jabalcón

Temple and Forum

As you walk around, you can note the remnants of the Temple, the Forum and the Basilica, as well as those of a row of Roman shops (tabernas). The remains of a Roman baths complex, with its hot, tepid and cold bathing pools, and of a Roman villa are well worth seeing and are situated below the parking area. The panoramic views to be had from Basti are proof that it was built in a good, defensible position.

From here can be seen, looking in the direction away from the A-92, two Iberian necropolises. It was in
Cerro Santuario (Sanctuary Hill), towards the west, that the famous "Dama de Baza" (Lady of Baza), an exact replica of which can be seen in the Baza Archaeological Museum, was found in a tomb in 1971. This hollowed-out statue of a seated noble or royal young woman was found to contain funeral ashes. The remnants of a similar funerary statue, the "Guerrero de Baza" (Warrior of Baza), was found in a tomb in the other necropolis on Cerro Largo (Long Hill).

Roman Baths
Dama de Baza

Roman Baths

"Dama de Baza"

Apparently, the people of Basti were the only Iberians to inter the ashes of their dead in hollow statues.

Both of the necropolises can easily be accessed but there is very little of interest to see, as the archaeological work has long since been discontinued.

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