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Fontanajero (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-14 by ivan sache
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Flag of Fontanajero - Image by "Nethunter", Wikimedia Commons, 17 May 2019


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Presentation of Fontanajero

The municipality of Fontanarejo (261 inhabitants in 2018; 7,695 ha) is located 75 km north-west of Ciudad Real.

Fontanarejo includes "an outstanding ichnological locality from the Lower Ordovician". The Morro del Ɓguila site, located 3 km east of the village, might represent the world's biggest and preserved collection of Daedalus desglandi(Rouault) trace fossils (ichnofossils).
[J.C Gutiérrez-Marco, S. Lorenzo, A.A. Sá. 2017. An outstanding ichnological locality from the Lower Ordovician of the southern Toledo Mounts (Fontanarejo, Ciudad Real province, central Spain). Geogaceta 62, 47-50]

The fossil genus Daedalus (Cambrian-Silurian cosmopolitan) has to be understood as a complex burrow belonging to the "overhollowed" type and corresponding to the progressive deepening and displacement into the sediment of a tube or tunnel with a single opening, generally in the shape of a "J", in accordance with one of the "protrusive" or "retrusive" patterns. These vermiforms animals lived in colonies in a sandy medium (sandstone), the sedimentation of which have been strongly disturbed by them (bioturbation). The indication as to the depth is likely littoral or sublittoral.
Daedalus was first described in 1850 by Rouault in Armorican sandstone, Brittany, who interpreted it as "fucoid", or "alga incertae sedis. Rouault coined three ichnogenus, Vexillum, Daedalus and Humilis, which he subsequently recognized as three appearances of the same fossil, assigned to Vexillum. Sarle renamed the genus to Daedalus in 1906, arguing that Vexillum had already been used in 1798 to name a gastropod.
The interpretation of Daedalus and related fossils was a matter of fierce controversy among paleontologists. They were once considered as fossil algae or sponge-like organisms; the traces were also interpreted as the consequences of physical "vortexes", "pressure structures", or traces of ascension of gas bubbles.
[J. Lessertisseur. 1971. L'énigme du Daedalus (Daedalus Rouault, 1850) Ichnofossilia. Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 3e série, 20, 37-70]

The project of exploitation of the phosphate deposit of Fontanarejo by an open-pit mine and a transformation plant stirred a big controversy. The project was declared environmentally viable by a Resolution issued on 29 October 2018 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 15 November 2018 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 223, pp. 30,446-30.481 (text).
A petition against the exploitation of the mine, which is located close to the village and less than 10 km from the Cabañeras National Park, collected 68,000 signatories in less than 15 days [more than 100,000 as of today].
[La Tribuna de Ciudad Real, 15 October 2018]

Ivan Sache, 17 May 2019


Symbols of Fontanajero

The flag of Fontanarejo is prescribed by an Order issued on 26 May 1993 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 2 June 1993 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 40, p. 2,985 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Two horizontal stripes of the same size, the upper, celestial blue, the lower, yellow. An acute green triangle running from the hoist to the flag's geometric center. Centered on the triangle, the Erustes tower, or.

This is, indeed, the description of the flag of Erustes, mistakenly assigned in the official gazette to Fontanarejo.
The flag of Fontanarejo (photo) is white with a red stripe in the center charged with a white six-pointed star.

The coat of arms of Fontanarejo is prescribed by an Order issued on 26 May 1993 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 2 June 1993 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 40, pp. 2,985-2,986 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Vert two mounts argent, 2. Argent a tree vert superimposed by a boar sable. Grafted in base, Gules a six-pointed star argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy rejected the proposed symbols. Two sets of flag and arms were proposed, both being "incompatible". The municipality should propose another solution, with the flag matching the coat of arms. Would the first proposal be retained, the second quarter, featuring a boar in front of a tree is questionable, since it uses a well-known charge characteristic of a distant region, therefore at risk of confusion.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 190:2, 329. 1993]

Ivan Sache, 17 May 2019