Ronda - Archaeological Site of Acinipo
The archaeological site of Acinipo is located over one big limestone hill of a tertiary origin, having a middle height of 999 mts. over the sea's surface. This rise at the depression of Ronda gave it an important strategic value, which was specially considered at the preroman age when the human settlement had to be stablished.
Acinipo is one of the settlements whose name appears for the first time in a classical text, as the ones written by Ptolomeo or Plinio. This site has been paid attention by lots of investigators. The first news about it appear soon, in the 16th century with Lorenzo de Padilla, being Fariña del Corral, in 1650, the first who identified the theater as belonging to the Roman age.
Although most of the visible rests belong to the Roman age, we do not have to forget the important prehistoric rests of this city. The oldest findings belong to the Neolithic period, and these found remains continue through the Ages of Copper and Bronze. It is at this prehistoric age and with the importance of the Phoenician colonies that Acinipo will rise and become its importance, which will arrive to its highpoint at the Roman age, being preceded by the Iberian phase.
There are several factors which influenced the current space location of Acinipo. On the one side, its rise at the Depression, as one of the highest points of it, which gives to the place an strategic value and also of a visual domination of the surrounding territory. On the other side, the Roman site of Acinipo is located in a zone with fast and easy connection to other Roman provinces.
The accesses leading to the Guadalquivir Valley,to the coast of Cadiz and to the great number of depressions in the midle of the Bethic mountains are also easy to detect, which made able easy contacts and comecial relationships with other areas, as proved by the numismatic findings (Acinipo had formerly the legal power of making money, in this case, coins).
Another factor which influenced the location of this site was the availability of fertile land for farming use. Those fields where exploited since the Neolithic, period, had a great importance at the Roman age and even nowadays it continues being the best land for farming at the Depression of Ronda.
On the other hand, the village of Acinipo took profit of other natural resources existing in its land, like marble, stone for buildings, iron mineral and high quality potter's clay.
Considering the digged space, the Roman Phase is the most important of all. Despite of this, it has been discovered important remains belonging to the recent prehistoric age, like the circular cabins with a stone porch.
Belonging to the 1st century AD there can be seen a typical Roman urban design and buildings, being its best example the city's theater, which can be dated, because of its technical building characteristics, as made in the 1st century AD. In the same way, and in the centre of the hill there can be found the supposed rests of the Forum or Public square of Acinipo. Next to this social, political, economic and religious centre, and inside the wall surrounded area of the city, there have been found other public buildings like therms (public baths) existing nowadays three of its swimming pools,the theater, temples, remaining one of them undestroyed till the beginning of the 20th century, etc. This shows the urbanistic rise of Acinipo during the first centuries of the Roman Empire and the strong development shown by the city, as well as the stablishment and mantainance of a great Power.
On the contrary, and from the 3th century AD Acinipo falls, being in the 14th centuy AD when this urban site looses all its importance in the region, belonging from that time the region's leadership to the close city of Arunda (Ronda).