New discovery in the Cueva de Nerja is an archaeological milestone

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Cueva de Nerja
Amulet: Will be catalogued in an exhaustive protocol of analysisCredit: Cueva de Nerja

A LEAD amulet has been discovered in the Cueva de Nerja proving that the caves were used up until the Middle Ages.

This amulet is a small sheet of lead, about 7 cm long with the altered sides, it has undergone a severe cleaning process and mechanical stretching and some traces of text can be seen.

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Amulets and talismans are archaeological pieces normally associated with the rural areas of Al-Andalus. With varied typologies, they appear in domestic contexts and also associated with funeral records.

They usually feature phrases taken from the Koran and prayers in Arabic script, asking for the protection of the bearer.

This discovery is a great milestone as it proves that the Cueva de Nerja was still in use until the 5th to 15th century, at least in its exterior rooms. Before this discovery, it was thought to have only been used until around the High Imperial Roman period, approximately the third quarter of the 1st century AD.


To date, it is the only remaining artefact of that period that has been recorded in the cave and it may be related to the exterior rooms used by a hermit or a religious man considered a saint who could even be buried inside the room.

Now it is under study, with the support of digital media and current technologies, it is expected to provide new information, including whether the text is from a prayer or phrase from the Koran.

It will be catalogued in An exhaustive protocol of graphic and photographic documentation, analysis and characterisation coordinated by the team of the Nerja Cave Research Institute and in close collaboration with specialists from the Medieval History area of ​​the University of Malaga.


We hope you enjoyed this article “New discovery in the Cueva de Nerja is a great milestone”.

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