That fits well with the interpretation of a site used for religious purposes.” Further studies will seek to discover how the site fitted into the region’s Copper Age infrastructure.

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The stony ground here is not good for farming, but the site is strategically located near an ancient fort on the Guadalquivir River near the ore-rich Sierra Morena mountains, where copper and other valuable minerals were mined.

Trails link the site with the fertile plain of Carmona, so that we may assume it was used by many passing through.

In it, the archaeologists found large clay bricks with burn marks on it which may have served a ritual purpose.

But they did not find human remains or indications of continuous settlement after the Copper Age – suggesting the site was used intensively for a relatively short period.

Sur-veying the land in August 2015, they found circular earthworks enclosing about six hectares.

Exca-vations at the site yielded bones, sherds and jewelry; radiocarbon dating and comparative analysis confirmed the site was used during the Bell Beaker Culture (2,600 to 2,200 BCE).

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Tübingen archaeologists headed by Professor Martin Bartelheim plan to carry out fieldwork which will shed light on these little-researched issues.