Juan Cuadrado Ruiz was born in Vera
on February 14, 1886, and moved to Valencia to live with his grandparents due to the premature death of his parents. In Valencia, he completed his primary and high school studies at the Saint Joseph School of the Jesuits.
He began his law studies in that city, but without advancing in them because his vocation pointed to two very different disciplines: archaeology and painting.
Juan Cuadrado Ruiz returns to Vera
In 1917, he became acquainted with the publications of the studies of the Belgian engineer Luis Siret y Cels, who by that time had already spent 30 years carrying out excavations on prehistoric sites in the southeast Iberian Peninsula.
In the mid-1920s, Juan Cuadrado Ruiz assumed responsibility for the Mayor's Office of Vera and later met Juana Canovas Martinez, whom he married in 1921. They had three children.
He came into contact with Luis Siret and began a relationship of collaboration and learning in the 1930s. From that moment on, Luis Siret became the teacher, as Juan Cuadrado Ruiz declared many times.
They went to the Almizaraque archaeological site in Cuevas del Almanzora
, where they made important finds. At the same time, Juan Cuadrado Ruiz participated with great enthusiasm in all local, national, and international archaeological events, promoting with great success the Archaeological Congress held in Almeria in 1949.
Most important findings
On the other hand, he moved to the Region of Murcia
, where he undertook intense archaeological activity, particularly in the towns of Totana
His publications on the archaeological works in these localities refer to the Palaeolithic period, such as in the deposits of “Los Mortolitos”, “Cejo del Pantano”, and “Fuente de Lentisco”, among many others.
Also in deposits that correspond to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic period are those of “Blanquizares de Lébor”, the settlement of “Campico del Centeno”, “Barranco de Carboneros”, and others.
In addition, there are important sites such as “Cerro del Sombrero”, “Cabeza Gorda”, “Altos de la Sierra de Chíchar”, and “Morrón de Totana”, which provide relevant knowledge about the reality of the prehistoric settlements of the Guadalentin Valley.
We must stop at the enormous importance, due to its magnitude, of the discovery of the Chalcolithic cave of “Los Blanquizares de Lébor”. It is a funerary burial with various equipment and utensils, including the remains of the bones of 92 individuals.
He found decorated and smooth vessels, stone and other plaster vessels, flint points and blades, axes, metal punches, various objects made of bone, and necklace beads. Right there, he also found the exceptional axe in wood.
Training as a painter
Juan Cuadrado Ruiz's versatile personality led him, from a very young age, to train as a painter. His teachers were Ignacio Zuloaga and Joaquin Sorolla, who attended the study of this famous Valencian painter, resulting in an outstanding student.
In this way, the archaeological activity of Juan Cuadrado Ruiz was always complemented by his love of painting. In fact, he was a drawing teacher at the Almeria School of Arts
In addition, Juan Cuadrado held the position of Commissioner of Excavations of Almeria, and later, that of Advisor to the Defense Service of the Artistic Heritage and Correspondent of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He was an active promoter of the Archaeological Congresses of the Spanish Southeast between 1945 and 1950.
On March 28, 1933, he was appointed Director of the Museum of Almeria, a position he shared with many other cultural activities that promoted art and Almeria's cultural heritage. Juan Cuadrado Ruiz died on June 18, 1952. He was 66 years old.