Currently, the Archaeological Area included in the Archaeological Ensemble of Carmona is made up of, among other elements, two nuclei of unique buildings dating from the Roman period, between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD: the Necropolis, considered one of the largest and best preserved funerary ensembles of the peninsula, and the amphitheatre, a construction of a ludic character, both located in the western sector on the outskirts of the city, extending approximately eight hectares.
There are two general characteristics which give the Necropolis its own personality: the use of cremation as a burial ritual and the set of underground funerary chambers dug into the rock. Funerary urns were placed in the interior, and the chamber was reached by a shaft or stairway. The emerging part of the tombs has disappeared as a result of historic plunderings. The family mausoleum was the most typical type of tomb. Together with these, crematoriums were discovered, which had also been dug into the rock, and where the deceased was placed on the pyre, and even in some cases, it was used as a burial site. Some of the later tombs were used for inhumation.
Some aspects worth special mention are the monumental character of certain buildings, such as the Elephant Tomb and the Tomb of Servilia; the existence of spectacular funerary pieces, which can be viewed in the museum of the ensemble, in addition to an amazing scenery where the museum is located.
Linked to the Necropolis, we can find the amphitheatre, partially dug into the rock of the hill, taking advantage of the natural slope of the land, a place in which the gladiator games and other events, typical of this type of building, were held. Part of it was used as a necropolis.
The first evidence of burials in the necropolis can be seen in a series of Tartessian funerary monuments (7th century BC), made by excavating a central pit in the land which was covered by a mound or tumulus of earth. These monuments have recently taken on importance in the landscape of the ensemble. The first Roman burials, can be found to the south of the amphitheatre and belong to the 2nd century BC. This is a series of tombs used for inhumation, characterised by an unusual funerary ritual represented by setting the body in a doubled-up position, with the head pointing East.
At the beginning of the imperial period, a fundamental change occurred in the burial rituals and the development of funerary architecture. Cremation and the construction of family chambers hewn into the rock became widespread. In some cases these were covered by a mound of earth, as we can see on the recommended tour when visiting the circular mausoleum.
We know little about the funerary landscape, apart from the remains of the construction documented to the south of the amphitheatre, which clearly show a relatively spatial organisation of tombs, grouped together in enclosures, or traces of paths within the cemetery, signs of which can be distinguished at various points in the necropolis, including the current entrance to the ensemble. The hypogea (subterranean burial chambers), belonging to local families, ceased to be used between the end of the 1st century AD and early 2nd century BC, following the newly imposed custom of individual burial consisting of collecting and positioning the bone remains in the grave where the body was cremated (bustum).