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Thread: Salt of the Alps: ancient Hallstatt mine holds Bronze Age secrets

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    Salt of the Alps: ancient Hallstatt mine holds Bronze Age secrets



    All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world's oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps, is no exception.

    But Hallstatt isn't like other mines.

    Exploited for 7,000 years, the mine has yielded not only a steady supply of salt but also archaeological discoveries attesting to the existence of a rich civilisation dating back to the early part of the first millennium BC.

    So far less than two percent of the prehistoric tunnel network is thought to have been explored, with the new round of reinforcement work, which began this month, protecting the dig's achievements, according to chief archaeologist Hans Reschreiter.

    "Like in all the mines, the mountain puts pressure on the tunnels and they could cave in if nothing is done," Reschreiter told AFP.

    Hallstatt was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 and the work aims to protect it for "future generations", said Thomas Stelzer, governor of Upper Austria state where the mine is located.

    Towering over a natural lake—today frequented by masses of tourists, particularly from Asia, who come to admire the picture-perfect Alpine scenery—the Hallstatt mine lies more than 800 metres (2,600 feet) above sea level.

    The vast deposit of sea salt inside was left by the ocean that covered the region some 250 million years ago.

    3,000-year-old stairs

    Among the most striking archaeological discoveries was that of an eight-metre-long wooden staircase dating back to 1100 BC, the oldest such staircase found in Europe.

    "It was so well preserved that we could take it apart and reassemble it," Reschreiter said.

    Other items date back much further. Excavated in 1838, an axe made from staghorn dating from 5,000 BC showed that as early as then, miners "tried hard to extract salt from here," Reschreiter said.

    In the mid-19th century, excavations revealed a necropolis that showed the site's prominence during the early Iron Age.

    The civilisation became known as "Hallstatt culture", ensuring the site's fame.

    "Thousands of bodies have been excavated, almost all flaunting rich bronze ornaments, typically worn by only the wealthiest," Reschreiter said. "The remains bore the marks of hard physical labour from childhood, while also showing signs of unequalled prosperity."

    Priceless 'white gold'

    Salt—long known as "white gold"—was priceless at the time. And Hallstatt produced up to a tonne every day, supplying "half of Europe", he said, adding that the difficult-to-access location "became the continent's richest, and a major platform for trading in 800 BC".

    Testifying to this are sword handles made of African ivory and Mediterranean wine bowls found at the site.

    A second series of excavations—started by Vienna's Museum of Natural History some 60 years ago—produced more surprises.

    In tunnels more than 100 metres below the surface, archaeologists discovered "unique evidence" of mining activity at an "industrial" scale during the Bronze Age, Reschreiter said.

    As well as revealing wooden retaining structures more than 3,000 years old which were perfectly preserved by the salt, the excavation unearthed numerous tools, leather gloves and a rope—thick as a fist—as well as the remains of millions of wooden torches.

    Continuously active

    Also used by Celts and during the Roman era when salt was used to pay legions stationed along the Danube River—it is the origin of the word "salary"—the mine has never stopped working since prehistoric times.

    Today, about 40 people still work there, using high-pressure water to extract the equivalent of 250,000 tonnes of salt per year.

    "Salt doesn't have the same value as in antiquity anymore. But some of its new uses, such as in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, are still highly profitable," said Kurt Thomanek, technical director of salt supplier Salinen Austria.

    Tourism linked to the archaeological discoveries is also "a pillar of our activities", Thomanek added.

    Last year, some 200,000 people visited the Hallstatt mine.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-salt-a...ronze.html#jCp

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    I studied this recently and I found this very interesting

    the Hallstatt mine was a spectacular discovery
    the subsequently discovered Hallstatt culture with it's tumuli and fortified citadels even more so
    it was a time of wealth and prosperity 2.8-2.5 ka
    the Hallstatt origin are urnfield tribes who settled in the areas north of the Alps 3.2 ka

    the La Tene discovery also preceded the discovery of the homelands of the Gaulish Hallstatt elites 5th cent B.C.
    the Gauls were warriors from the northern fringes of the Hallstatt homelands, invaders of Northern Italy & the Balkans 2.4 ka
    and settling in Gallia, France, Belgica and parts of England

    2.6 ka Hallstatt elites travelled upstream the river Ebro
    they are the founders of the Celtiberian tribes

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world's oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps, is no exception.

    But Hallstatt isn't like other mines.

    Exploited for 7,000 years, the mine has yielded not only a steady supply of salt but also archaeological discoveries attesting to the existence of a rich civilisation dating back to the early part of the first millennium BC.

    So far less than two percent of the prehistoric tunnel network is thought to have been explored, with the new round of reinforcement work, which began this month, protecting the dig's achievements, according to chief archaeologist Hans Reschreiter.

    "Like in all the mines, the mountain puts pressure on the tunnels and they could cave in if nothing is done," Reschreiter told AFP.

    Hallstatt was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 and the work aims to protect it for "future generations", said Thomas Stelzer, governor of Upper Austria state where the mine is located.

    Towering over a natural lake—today frequented by masses of tourists, particularly from Asia, who come to admire the picture-perfect Alpine scenery—the Hallstatt mine lies more than 800 metres (2,600 feet) above sea level.

    The vast deposit of sea salt inside was left by the ocean that covered the region some 250 million years ago.

    3,000-year-old stairs

    Among the most striking archaeological discoveries was that of an eight-metre-long wooden staircase dating back to 1100 BC, the oldest such staircase found in Europe.

    "It was so well preserved that we could take it apart and reassemble it," Reschreiter said.

    Other items date back much further. Excavated in 1838, an axe made from staghorn dating from 5,000 BC showed that as early as then, miners "tried hard to extract salt from here," Reschreiter said.

    In the mid-19th century, excavations revealed a necropolis that showed the site's prominence during the early Iron Age.

    The civilisation became known as "Hallstatt culture", ensuring the site's fame.

    "Thousands of bodies have been excavated, almost all flaunting rich bronze ornaments, typically worn by only the wealthiest," Reschreiter said. "The remains bore the marks of hard physical labour from childhood, while also showing signs of unequalled prosperity."

    Priceless 'white gold'

    Salt—long known as "white gold"—was priceless at the time. And Hallstatt produced up to a tonne every day, supplying "half of Europe", he said, adding that the difficult-to-access location "became the continent's richest, and a major platform for trading in 800 BC".

    Testifying to this are sword handles made of African ivory and Mediterranean wine bowls found at the site.

    A second series of excavations—started by Vienna's Museum of Natural History some 60 years ago—produced more surprises.

    In tunnels more than 100 metres below the surface, archaeologists discovered "unique evidence" of mining activity at an "industrial" scale during the Bronze Age, Reschreiter said.

    As well as revealing wooden retaining structures more than 3,000 years old which were perfectly preserved by the salt, the excavation unearthed numerous tools, leather gloves and a rope—thick as a fist—as well as the remains of millions of wooden torches.

    Continuously active

    Also used by Celts and during the Roman era when salt was used to pay legions stationed along the Danube River—it is the origin of the word "salary"—the mine has never stopped working since prehistoric times.

    Today, about 40 people still work there, using high-pressure water to extract the equivalent of 250,000 tonnes of salt per year.

    "Salt doesn't have the same value as in antiquity anymore. But some of its new uses, such as in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, are still highly profitable," said Kurt Thomanek, technical director of salt supplier Salinen Austria.

    Tourism linked to the archaeological discoveries is also "a pillar of our activities", Thomanek added.

    Last year, some 200,000 people visited the Hallstatt mine.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-salt-a...ronze.html#jCp
    We forget how important salt was in more ancient times, important enough that if you controlled it great wealth would follow. I was reading just recently some Adam Goldsworthy on the Roman legions, and he was emphasizing how the legions carried a lot of salt with them so that any animals domestic or wild which were butchered could be immediately salted to preserve the meat. Their staple food while on march was salted bacon and a type of "hard tack". It was still the same thousands of years later on the ships of the British Empire.

    It was a great disinfectant too, the only treatment people had for wounds except for the few who understood the benefits of mold. I still gargle with salt water for sore throats. :)


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    even modest graves in Hallstatt had few grave gifts
    that is why archeologists think the miners were not slaves, they were free men and also common men benefited from the mining industries

    it contrasts with the Gauls who started to catch slaves on their raiding trips
    they sold the slaves to the Etruscans
    there was high demand for them in the Mediterranean

    I wonder whether the climate, which started to become colder after 2.6 ka and lower agricultural yields made the Hallstatt communities become more violent.
    It also turned the Nordic Bronze into Germanic warrior communities.

    2.5 ka the Hallstatt mines were abandonned, but salt exploitation in the nearby Hallein mines started
    elite graves were being plundered
    the magnificant Heuneburg citadel at the upper Danube was burned down and the adjacent 10.000 inhabitants settlement in the Heuneberg plain was abandonned

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    I've been making a webpage about the Hallstatt culture, you can see it at europeanhistoryhub dot wixsite dot com/civilization/celts-hallstatt-culture. (I can't post the link) It's not finished yet... a work in progress.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    2.6 ka Hallstatt elites travelled upstream the river Ebro
    they are the founders of the Celtiberian tribes
    Isn't that a bit of an overstatement? Maybe Celtiberian tribes were "Gallicized" by Gaulish elites, but Celtiberian was a Q-Celtic language not a P-Celtic like Gaulish, and I doubt the reverse sound change (P > KW instead of KW > P) could've happened especially in such a short time between 2600 kya and the attestation of Celtiberian languages around 2100-2200 kya... unless, of course, Celtiberian came from an earlier Hallstatt languages, while Gaulish was a particularly innovative Hallstatt-derived language that by the time of the La Tène expansion (some 2400-2300 kya) was already a clearly different language.

    Celtiberian also apparently preserves some grammatical and lexical aspects that differ from Gaulish and even from other Celtic languages. It does not look just like a later dialect of the same continental Celtic spoken elsewhere, which were mostly P-Celtic, not Q-Celtic like Goidelic or apparently Gallecian (also Iberian). Can we really be sure that the later arrivals in Iberia representing the Hallstatt/La Tène expansion founded the Celtiberian peoples, instead of just bringing a new cultural layer and maybe a new elite?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Isn't that a bit of an overstatement? Maybe Celtiberian tribes were "Gallicized" by Gaulish elites, but Celtiberian was a Q-Celtic language not a P-Celtic like Gaulish, and I doubt the reverse sound change (P > KW instead of KW > P) could've happened especially in such a short time between 2600 kya and the attestation of Celtiberian languages around 2100-2200 kya... unless, of course, Celtiberian came from an earlier Hallstatt languages, while Gaulish was a particularly innovative Hallstatt-derived language that by the time of the La Tène expansion (some 2400-2300 kya) was already a clearly different language.
    Celtiberian also apparently preserves some grammatical and lexical aspects that differ from Gaulish and even from other Celtic languages. It does not look just like a later dialect of the same continental Celtic spoken elsewhere, which were mostly P-Celtic, not Q-Celtic like Goidelic or apparently Gallecian (also Iberian). Can we really be sure that the later arrivals in Iberia representing the Hallstatt/La Tène expansion founded the Celtiberian peoples, instead of just bringing a new cultural layer and maybe a new elite?
    well, the Celtiberians were not just Hallstatt people, there must have been admixture between the Hallstatt and local people
    and I believe some of the local tirbes in NW Iberia were 'Atlantic Celts', dispersed from the British Isles during the Atlantic Bronze Age, they were R1b-L21.

    the Hallstatt origine are urnfield people, and maybe there were both Q-Celts and P-Celts among them
    the Lepontic tribes were also urnfield derived and Q-Celts
    even the Italic tribes seem to be urnfield derived
    and the origin of urnfield is the northern Carpathian basin or southern Central Europe
    they dispersed around 3.2 ka, a time of great upheavel (also the time of the Sea Peoples in the eastern Mediterranean and the Tolllense river bronze age battle)

    the Hallstatt brought the Iron age to central Iberia, along with antenna hilted swords and torcs
    they also reorganised the whole economy, causing rapid population density growth
    they were very skilled, they must have been an elite
    before their arrival, population on the Meseta Central in Central Iberia was dwindling, after arrival of Halsstatt population grew very fast, and it is hard to believe that these Hallstatt people would have taken over the local language
    the local dwindling population on the Central Meseta were Cogotas I people, and they probably spoke an Iberic language like it was spoken on on the Iberian eastcoast when the first Greek colonisers arrived there

    the Gauls originated from 3 or 4 areas along the northern fringes of the Hallstatt core area
    La Tene is not the Gaulish origin, it is part of the Gaulish expansion

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philjames100 View Post
    I've been making a webpage about the Hallstatt culture, you can see it at europeanhistoryhub dot wixsite dot com/civilization/celts-hallstatt-culture. (I can't post the link) It's not finished yet... a work in progress.
    thank you
    seems quite detailed and well-illustrated
    I'll read it later

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    From studies about the lands of Noricum which has Halstatt area
    It say Hal = illyrian for Salt and Statt = celtic for town
    and they say

    Question is when did the ceolts fully take over /absorb the illyrians in Noricum ..........my guess by 500BC
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Kingdom of Salt - 7000 Years of History in Hallstatt


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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post

    the Hallstatt brought the Iron age to central Iberia
    I highly doubt this, the discoveries made in the last decades refute this. Iron probably reached central Iberia from the coasts, in fact iron is seen in artifacts in South-Western Iberia, and in particular in the area of Huelva, since the 11th-10th century bc, in fact archaeologists have found an entire Huelva type sword made up of iron: during this time the Atlantic coast of Iberia was heavily involved in trade with the big islands of Sardinia and Cyprus in the East, and iron working was known in both of those places since the late bronze age (14th-12th century bc) probably reaching Cyprus first and from there Sardinia and finally Iberia. Later on, towards the late 9th century bc, with the arrival of Phoenician merchants from Tyre in the coasts of South Western Iberia iron production increased significantly in the area of Huelva, iron furnaces were found in Huelva dating to this period, and in Gadir too if I remember correctly. The Phoenicians by this time used predominantly iron weapons. Huelva was a local hub of trade visited mainly by the Phoenicians but also by the Sardinians and Cypriots who were the first sailors to reach it and who likely guided the Phoenicians there, and later by euboean Greeks and Villanovians too. So it is from the coasts of Iberia, and the south west in particular, that iron working likely spread to the center of the peninsula. The Hallstat culture wouldn't reach central Iberia until the 7th-6th century bc, whereas iron working was known to the South Western Iberians since four or five centuries before thanks to their contacts with the Easterners, it is thus more logical to conclude that the Iberians of the coasts brought iron to the interior parts of Iberia first.
    Last edited by Pygmalion; 01-09-18 at 14:00.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
    I highly doubt this, the discoveries made in the last decades refute this. Iron probably reached central Iberia from the coasts, in fact iron is seen in artifacts in South-Western Iberia, and in particular in the area of Huelva, since the 11th-10th century bc, in fact archaeologists have found an entire Huelva type sword made up of iron: during this time the Atlantic coast of Iberia was heavily involved in trade with the big island of Sardinia and Cyprus in the East, and iron working was known in both of those places since the late bronze age (14th-12th century bc) probably reaching Cyprus first and from there Sardinia and finally Iberia. Later on, towards the late 9th century bc, with the arrival of Phoenician merchants from Tyre in the coasts of South Western Iberia iron production increased significantly in the area of Huelva, iron furnaces were found in Huelva dating to this period, and in Gadir too if I remember correctly. The Phoenicians by this time used predominantly iron weapons. Huelva was a local hub of trade visited mainly by the Phoenicians but also by the Sardinians and Cypriots who were the first sailors to reach it and who likely guided the Phoenicians there, and later by euboean Greeks and Villanovians too. So it is from the coasts of Iberia, and the south west in particular, that iron working likely spread to the center of the peninsula. The Hallstat culture wouldn't reach central Iberia until the 7th-6th century bc, whereas iron working was known to the South Western Iberians since four or five centuries before thanks to their contacts with the Easterners, it is thus more logical to conclude that the Iberians of the coasts brought iron to the interior parts of Iberia first.
    I was talking about Central Iberia, the Meseta, 6th century BC. Do you have specific info on that?
    In Central Iberia, we have Cogotas I, which is bronze age, probably connected with El Argar, and we have Cogotas II, which is iron age Celtic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Cogotas

    In NW Iberia there was in the 6 th century BC a period labeled Iron II, which would be Hallstatt.

    It may be different in other parts of Iberia.
    I dont think there was regular iron 11th-10th cent BC though, it would precede the iron age everywhere else in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I was talking about Central Iberia, the Meseta, 6th century BC. Do you have specific info on that?
    In Central Iberia, we have Cogotas I, which is bronze age, probably connected with El Argar, and we have Cogotas II, which is iron age Celtic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Cogotas

    In NW Iberia there was in the 6 th century BC a period labeled Iron II, which would be Hallstatt.

    It may be different in other parts of Iberia.
    I dont think there was regular iron 11th-10th cent BC though, it would precede the iron age everywhere else in the world.
    What do you mean that you don't think there was "regular iron"? By that time there were indeed iron artifacts fabricated by the locals who inhabited the South Western coast of the island, for example the huelva type sword I mentioned before. And no, it wouldn't be be before anywhere else in the world, by that time the levantine city states used predominantly iron weapons, the locals of the coasts of Iberia still used mostly bronze ones, but they did start experimenting with iron tools and weapons. During the 9th-8th century bc iron production increases along the coastal centers of Iberia thanks to the stable presence of Phoenicians in some of them such as Gadir. It is much more logical to conclude that iron reached central Iberia from the coasts first since the peoples who inhabited the coasts had started experimenting with iron way before the Hallstat Celts and lived way closer to them than the Celts.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
    What do you mean that you don't think there was "regular iron"? By that time there were indeed iron artifacts fabricated by the locals who inhabited the South Western coast of the island, for example the huelva type sword I mentioned before. And no, it wouldn't be be before anywhere else in the world, by that time the levantine city states used predominantly iron weapons, the locals of the coasts of Iberia still used mostly bronze ones, but they did start experimenting with iron tools and weapons. During the 9th-8th century bc iron production increases along the coastal centers of Iberia thanks to the stable presence of Phoenicians in some of them such as Gadir. It is much more logical to conclude that iron reached central Iberia from the coasts first since the peoples who inhabited the coasts had started experimenting with iron way before the Hallstat Celts and lived way closer to them than the Celts.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis...n_age_cultures

    The Iron Age in the Iberian peninsula has two focuses: the Hallstatt-related Iron Age Urnfields of the North-East and the Phoenician colonies of the South.
    During the Iron Age, considered the protohistory of the territory, the Celts came, in several waves, starting possibly before 600 BC.[18]
    The Southwest Paleohispanic script, also called Tartessian, present in the Algarve and Lower Alentejo from about the late 8th to the 5th century BC, is possible the oldest script in Western Europe and it could have come from the Eastern Mediterranean, perhaps from Anatolia or Greece.[18]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis..._and_influence

    The Phoenicians of Asia, Greeks of Europe, and Carthaginians of Africa all colonized parts of Iberia to facilitate trade. During the 10th century BC, the first contacts between Phoenicians and Iberia (along the Mediterranean coast) were made. This century also saw the emergence of towns and cities in the southern littoral areas of eastern Iberia.
    The Phoenicians founded colony of Gadir (modern Cádiz) near Tartessos. The foundation of Cádiz, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in western Europe, is traditionally dated to 1104 BC, although, as of 2004, no archaeological discoveries date back further than the 9th century BC. The Phoenicians continued to use Cádiz as a trading post for several centuries leaving a variety of artifacts, most notably a pair of sarcophaguses from around the 4th or 3rd century BC. Contrary to myth, there is no record of Phoenician colonies west of the Algarve (namely Tavira), even though there might have been some voyages of discovery. Phoenician influence in what is now Portuguese territory was essentially through cultural and commercial exchange with Tartessos.
    During the 9th century BC, the Phoenicians, from the city-state of Tyre founded the colony of Malaka (modern Málaga)[23] and Carthage (in North Africa). During this century, Phoenicians also had great influence on Iberia with the introduction the use of Iron, of the Potter's wheel, the production of olive oil and wine. They were also responsible for the first forms of Iberian writing, had great religious influence and accelerated urban development. However, there is little evidence to support the myth of a Phoenician foundation of the city of Lisbon as far back as 1300 BC, under the name Alis Ubbo ("Safe Harbour"), even if in this period there are organized settlements in Olissipona (modern Lisbon, in Portuguese Estremadura) with clear Mediterranean influences.
    There was strong Phoenician influence and settlement in the city of Balsa (modern Tavira in the Algarve) in the 8th century BC. Phoenician influenced Tavira was destroyed by violence in the 6th century BC. With the decadence of Phoenician colonization of the Mediterranean coast of Iberia in the 6th century BC many of the colonies are deserted. The 6th century BC also saw the rise of the colonial might of Carthage, which slowly replaced the Phoenicians in their former areas of dominion.


    So by the 10th century there was contact between Phoenicians and the southern part of the Iberian Mediterranean.
    By the 8th century the Phoenicians reached the Algarve.

    Did they go beyond Algarve along the Atlantic coast?
    Did they get inland?

    Do you have any data about this?
    To me it seems that the people on the Meseta were pretty isolated till the arrival of the Hallstatt Celts 6th cent BC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis...n_age_cultures

    The Iron Age in the Iberian peninsula has two focuses: the Hallstatt-related Iron Age Urnfields of the North-East and the Phoenician colonies of the South.
    During the Iron Age, considered the protohistory of the territory, the Celts came, in several waves, starting possibly before 600 BC.[18]
    The Southwest Paleohispanic script, also called Tartessian, present in the Algarve and Lower Alentejo from about the late 8th to the 5th century BC, is possible the oldest script in Western Europe and it could have come from the Eastern Mediterranean, perhaps from Anatolia or Greece.[18]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis..._and_influence

    The Phoenicians of Asia, Greeks of Europe, and Carthaginians of Africa all colonized parts of Iberia to facilitate trade. During the 10th century BC, the first contacts between Phoenicians and Iberia (along the Mediterranean coast) were made. This century also saw the emergence of towns and cities in the southern littoral areas of eastern Iberia.
    The Phoenicians founded colony of Gadir (modern Cádiz) near Tartessos. The foundation of Cádiz, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in western Europe, is traditionally dated to 1104 BC, although, as of 2004, no archaeological discoveries date back further than the 9th century BC. The Phoenicians continued to use Cádiz as a trading post for several centuries leaving a variety of artifacts, most notably a pair of sarcophaguses from around the 4th or 3rd century BC. Contrary to myth, there is no record of Phoenician colonies west of the Algarve (namely Tavira), even though there might have been some voyages of discovery. Phoenician influence in what is now Portuguese territory was essentially through cultural and commercial exchange with Tartessos.
    During the 9th century BC, the Phoenicians, from the city-state of Tyre founded the colony of Malaka (modern Málaga)[23] and Carthage (in North Africa). During this century, Phoenicians also had great influence on Iberia with the introduction the use of Iron, of the Potter's wheel, the production of olive oil and wine. They were also responsible for the first forms of Iberian writing, had great religious influence and accelerated urban development. However, there is little evidence to support the myth of a Phoenician foundation of the city of Lisbon as far back as 1300 BC, under the name Alis Ubbo ("Safe Harbour"), even if in this period there are organized settlements in Olissipona (modern Lisbon, in Portuguese Estremadura) with clear Mediterranean influences.
    There was strong Phoenician influence and settlement in the city of Balsa (modern Tavira in the Algarve) in the 8th century BC. Phoenician influenced Tavira was destroyed by violence in the 6th century BC. With the decadence of Phoenician colonization of the Mediterranean coast of Iberia in the 6th century BC many of the colonies are deserted. The 6th century BC also saw the rise of the colonial might of Carthage, which slowly replaced the Phoenicians in their former areas of dominion.


    So by the 10th century there was contact between Phoenicians and the southern part of the Iberian Mediterranean.
    By the 8th century the Phoenicians reached the Algarve.

    Did they go beyond Algarve along the Atlantic coast?
    Did they get inland?

    Do you have any data about this?
    To me it seems that the people on the Meseta were pretty isolated till the arrival of the Hallstatt Celts 6th cent BC.
    Do you think that there was an ocean separating coastal Iberia from the center of the Peninsula? Mycenaean ceramic imports reached inner areas of the Peninsula since the 14th century bc, I don't think that the later arrivals such as the Cypriots and later the Phoenicians from Tyre would have impacted only the coastal hubs such as Huelva, Phoenician pottery arrived in significant quantities inside the Peninsula in places like Cancho Roano immediately after arriving in the coastal hubs such as Iberia and Gadir around the 9th-8th century bc. I doubt that it wouldn't have reached further inland from there. Furthermore it is not necessarily the Phoenicians who would've directly transmitted the technology to the people living further inland, it could've very well been the locals living in the coastal area and along the rivers: as I said there's an iron sword belonging to the Monte Sa Idda type from Alcalà del Rio, which is a Western type of sword used in Iberia and Sardinia around the 10th-8th century bc (though the tomb where it was discovered is dated to a later period); I said before that it belonged to the Huelva type, I remembered it wrong, either way it's a Western production, source: "Le relazioni tra la Sardegna e la Penisola Iberica tra ilBronzo Finale e la prima età del Ferro attraverso letestimonianze archeologiche (secoli XII-VII a.C.)" Giovanna Fundoni, 2013.
    I've also found this: "In Portugal, copper, tin, and gold made their way from the hinterland mines to the coast. Presence of Near Eastern populations is inferred at the Beira Alta region of Portugal, where fragments of a small curved iron knife were found, as well as at Almada with additional curved iron knives. These strata have been respectively radiocarbon dated (calibrated) from135 1310-1009 cal BC (two sigma), and 994-783 cal BC (two sigma) (Margarida Arruda 2009, 121), providing early evidence for exchange." from "Ferrous metallurgy from the Bir Massouda metallurgical precinct at Phoenician and Punic2 Carthage and the beginning of the North African Iron Age"
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Did they go beyond Algarve along the Atlantic coast?
    Indeed they did, they reached the estuaries of the Tajo, Sado,Mondego and Guadiana by the 8th century bc, though even before the Phoenicians reached those places Cypriot artifacts reached Portugal
    Last edited by Pygmalion; 30-08-18 at 01:49.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis...n_age_cultures

    Since the late 8th century BC, the Urnfield culture of North-East Iberia began to develop Iron metallurgy and, eventually, elements of the Hallstatt culture. The earliest elements of this culture were found along the lower Ebro river, then gradually expanded upstream to La Rioja and in a hybrid local form to Alava. There was also expansion southwards into Castelló, with less marked influences reaching further south. Additionally, some offshoots have been detected along the Iberian Mountains, possibly a prelude to the formation of the Celtiberi.[9]

    During this period, the social differentiation became more visible with evidence of local chiefdoms and a horse-riding elite. It is possible that these transformations represent the arrival of a new wave of cultures from central Europe.


    A Castro village in Castro de Baroña, Galicia, Spain
    From these outposts in the Upper Ebro and the Iberian mountains, Celtic culture expanded into the plateau and the Atlantic coast. Several groups can be described:[9]

    The Bernorio-Miraveche group (northern Burgos and Palencia provinces), that would influence the peoples of the northern fringe.
    The north-west Castro culture, in today's Galicia and northern Portugal, a Celtic culture but with peculiarities due to the persistence of aspects of an earlier Atlantic Bronze Age culture.
    The Duero group, possibly the precursor of the Celtic Vaccei.
    The Cogotas II culture, likely precursor of the Celtic or Celtiberian Vettones (or a pre-Celtic culture with substantial Celtic influences), a markedly cattle-herder culture that gradually expanded southwards into what is today's Extremadura.
    The Lusitanian culture, the precursor of the Lusitani tribe, located in what is today's central Portugal and Extremadura in western Spain, is generally not considered Celtic since the Lusitanian language does not meet some the accepted definitions of a Celtic language.[22] Its relationship with the surrounding Celtic culture is unclear. Some believe it was essentially a pre-Celtic Iberian culture with substantial Celtic influences, while others argue that it was an essentially Celtic culture with strong indigenous pre-Celtic influences. There have been arguments for classifying its language as either Italic, a form of archaic Celtic, or proto-Celtic.
    All these Indo-European groups have some common elements, like combed pottery since the 6th century and uniform weaponry.

    After c. 600 BC, the Urnfields of the North-East were replaced by the Iberian culture, in a process that wasn't completed until the 4th century BC.[9] This physical separation from their continental relatives would mean that the Celts of the Iberian peninsula never received the cultural influences of La Tène culture, including Druidism.


    In NW Iberia Hallstatt iron age was labelled Iron II, it was indeed preceded by Iron I.
    And 2nd century BC there were emporia along the coast were Celtiberians waere trading with Phoenicians indeed.

    But not in Central Iberia, bronze age Cogotas I was followed by Hallstatt Cogotas II.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehis...n_age_cultures

    Since the late 8th century BC, the Urnfield culture of North-East Iberia began to develop Iron metallurgy and, eventually, elements of the Hallstatt culture.
    Ok, so even the Wikipedia article that you're copypasting refutes your original thesis that the it was the Hallstat Celts who brought iron working to the Iberians, since even the local culture which diverged from the urnfield in North-East Iberia was experimenting with iron.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    And 2nd century BC there were emporia along the coast were Celtiberians waere trading with Phoenicians indeed.
    So you have ignored my post completely, Phoenician artifacts made it to Northen Portugal since the 8th century bc, iron tools made it to Southern Portugal since the 13th-10th century bc
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    A Castro village in Castro de Baroña, Galicia, Spain
    From these outposts in the Upper Ebro and the Iberian mountains, Celtic culture expanded into the plateau and the Atlantic coast. Several groups can be described:[9]

    The Bernorio-Miraveche group (northern Burgos and Palencia provinces), that would influence the peoples of the northern fringe.
    The north-west Castro culture, in today's Galicia and northern Portugal, a Celtic culture but with peculiarities due to the persistence of aspects of an earlier Atlantic Bronze Age culture.
    The Duero group, possibly the precursor of the Celtic Vaccei.
    The Cogotas II culture, likely precursor of the Celtic or Celtiberian Vettones (or a pre-Celtic culture with substantial Celtic influences), a markedly cattle-herder culture that gradually expanded southwards into what is today's Extremadura.
    The Lusitanian culture, the precursor of the Lusitani tribe, located in what is today's central Portugal and Extremadura in western Spain, is generally not considered Celtic since the Lusitanian language does not meet some the accepted definitions of a Celtic language.[22] Its relationship with the surrounding Celtic culture is unclear. Some believe it was essentially a pre-Celtic Iberian culture with substantial Celtic influences, while others argue that it was an essentially Celtic culture with strong indigenous pre-Celtic influences. There have been arguments for classifying its language as either Italic, a form of archaic Celtic, or proto-Celtic.
    All these Indo-European groups have some common elements, like combed pottery since the 6th century and uniform weaponry.

    After c. 600 BC, the Urnfields of the North-East were replaced by the Iberian culture, in a process that wasn't completed until the 4th century BC.[9] This physical separation from their continental relatives would mean that the Celts of the Iberian peninsula never received the cultural influences of La Tène culture, including Druidism.

    Why are you vomiting an entire Wikipedia article on me instead of defending your initial thesis, without even commenting said article?

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
    Ok, so even the Wikipedia article that you're copypasting refutes your original thesis that the it was the Hallstat Celts who brought iron working to the Iberians, since even the local culture which diverged from the urnfield in North-East Iberia was experimenting with iron.

    So you have ignored my post completely, Phoenician artifacts made it to Northen Portugal since the 8th century bc, iron tools made it to Southern Portugal since the 13th-10th century bc

    [/COLOR]Why are you vomiting an entire Wikipedia article on me instead of defending your initial thesis, without even commenting said article?
    read my posts, this is what I said :

    the Hallstatt brought the Iron age to central Iberia, along with antenna hilted swords and torcs

    and I'm hear to discuss and learn
    if I was wrong, I would have learned something, but I wasn't

    it seems to me you are here not to learn but to prove you're right and somebody else is wrong

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    @Pygmalion,
    Change your freaking tone and discuss things civilly.

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    That’s awesome, it would be cool to find out more about the Proto-Celtic Culture. You don’t suppose the Neolithic folks had problems with getting caved in as well? It would be cool to find biodegradable Neolithic artifacts in almost mint condition. : D

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight View Post
    That’s awesome, it would be cool to find out more about the Proto-Celtic Culture. You don’t suppose the Neolithic folks had problems with getting caved in as well? It would be cool to find biodegradable Neolithic artifacts in almost mint condition. : D
    it is

    IMO there are 2 Celtic branches, a maritime and a continental

    the maritime Celts are R1b-L21, who we know now were Bell Beaker from Central Europe who arrived in the British Isles 4.5 ka
    the Atlantic Bronze Age was their climax

    the Hallstatt are the continental proto-Celts
    it was a period of peace and prosperity, but it started with violence, the urnfield period, and it ended in violence, the Gaulish expansion

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    read my posts, this is what I said :

    the Hallstatt brought the Iron age to central Iberia, along with antenna hilted swords and torcs

    and I'm hear to discuss and learn
    if I was wrong, I would have learned something, but I wasn't

    it seems to me you are here not to learn but to prove you're right and somebody else is wrong
    Do you really think that the Hallstat were those who brought iron to central Iberia? When the Treasure of Villena in Eastern Iberia already included iron artifacts? When there are iron knives from Portugal dated to the late bronze age? When the Syro-Palestine and Cypriot galleys (both iron-working cultures) reached Iberia since the the 13th century bc if not before? There's a significant quantity of Cypriot imports in Iberia pre-dating the Phoenicians, the Cypriots were iron workers since at least the 14th century bc, yes bronze was still prevalent bu they were iron workers who spread iron working to the Central Mediterranean. With the arrival of the Phoenicians, which were preceded by other Eastern sailors such as the Siro-Palestinians, Cypriots and probably the Philistines it is certain that iron metallurgy was practiced all over Iberia and it's more logical to conclude that it was the Levantines who introduced it, since they started mass producing iron tools and weapons by the 11th century bc if not before, not the Hallstat Celts who started experimenting with iron (note experimenting with iron, not mass producing it) only towards the 8th century bc. By the time the Celts reached Iberia not only were the Levantines mass producing iron, but iron working was well known in the Central Mediterranean as well (starting from the 13th-11th century bc), Hallstat being pioneers in iron metallurgy is a false myth.

    Also, phases like Iron age I, Late bronze age III etc are purely conventional terms invented decades ago, which do not necessarily accurately reflect the technologies of the time. For instance many of the peoples who lived in the Eastern Mediterranean already practiced iron working (The Hittites are a famous examples since they were so precocious) despite living in what's been labeled as "the bronze age". It's just conventional phases established decades ago by archaeologists which are still used for simplicity.

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    now, you made me realy curious

    cypriot iron workers 14th cent BC? did they extract the iron from iron ores? what technology did they use?
    and sailors along the Iberian coasts before the Phoenicians? on a regular basis?
    can you provide me with more details?

    I know the Hallstatt knew iron only 8th cent BC, and they learned about it either from the Scythians in the Carpathians or from the Etruscans with whom they traded on a regular basis.
    Hallstatt in Iberia is even later, 6th cent BC.
    By then the Phoenicians and the Greek had already trading posts along the southern and eastern Iberian shores, for sure.

    The oldest trading post I know of is Gadir dated around 800 BC.
    And when the Neo-Assyrian empire expanded some Phoenician fugitives settled along the coasts near Carthagena, hence probably the Villena treasure you're alluding to.
    But Carthago become a much more succesful settlement.

    These are the oldest colonies in Iberia I know of.
    And the Greeks joined in only around 630 BC.

    Iron working and production of acceptable quality of iron from iron ores started somewhere in the 11 th century BC.
    It was a long held theory that the 3.2 ka bronze age collapse was caused by invaders with iron weapons, and that the Hittites knew iron metallurgy too, but there is no proof for that and this theory is no longer accepted.

    Iron age means spreading of a technology capable of producing iron of usefull quality (as an alternative for bronze) from regular iron ores (to be found in large quantities) , allowing mass production.

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    the Hallstatt in Iberia went much further then the Phoenicians and the Greeks, or even the non-Hallstatt Urnfields in the northeast
    they penetrated into Central Iberia and also the upper Ebro and NW Iberia
    they were not just traders
    they transformed the whole local economy and they became the elite who controlled trade, agricultural production, cattle and extraction of ores and salt

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    now, you made me realy curious

    cypriot iron workers 14th cent BC? did they extract the iron from iron ores? what technology did they use?
    I remember that the oldest iron artifacts in Cyprus date back to the 14th-13th century bc, this paper talks about 1200 bc for the introduction of iron working in Cyprus with a very rapid growth of iron metallurgy:
    ". In Cyprus the bronze industry remained conservative until there was a strong wave of newcomers into Cyprus about 1200 BC. At this point metallurgists started experimenting intensively with iron, culminating in a full Iron Age before the end of LCIIIB (about 1050 BC). One of several finds of LBA iron knives from excavations on Cyprus, excavated from Room 19 LCIIIB context at Enkomi by P. Dikaos, was shown to be carbonized, quench-hardened and tempered, on examination by the metallurgist E. Tholander. It had the qualities of a modern high-carbon steel. There is no evidence of similar developments anywhere else in the region until some time later (Snodgrass, 1980:341). This means that Cyprus was poised to lead the region on entry to the Iron Age. At this point, it should be said, as Doonan (1994:84) does so eloquently “.....technology, which is seen not as an external phenomenon to society but as a total social phenomenon wholly embedded within society”"

    https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/han...pdf?sequence=1

    And there's evidence that the Cypriots spread iron metallurgy to the central Mediterranean starting from at least the 13th century bc, where the earliest iron objects are often found in association with cypriot imports, the earliest iron tools found would be some iron rings from Sicily dated to the 14th century bc:

    http://www.academia.edu/2061542/Meta...Coming_of_Iron

    In the last few years new evidence has come up from Sardinia in particular, where in addition to the already known late bronze age iron objects new finds have been made: iron slags and furnaces to melt iron have been found in contexts dating to the 13th-10th century bc, proving a very early introduction of iron working, probably from Cyprus: http://www.quaderniarcheocaor.benicu...e/view/334/196



    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    and sailors along the Iberian coasts before the Phoenicians? on a regular basis?
    can you provide me with more details?
    Of course, it's hard to tell how regularly these sailors reached Iberia but some of the earliest finds from Iberia are:
    1) a chocolate on white ware of likely Siro-Palestinese production from Coria del Rìo (13th century bc)
    2)A cypriot base ring ware fragment from San Juan di Corìa (14th-13th century bc)
    3)Two fragments of cypriot vessels and part of a container from Llanete de Los Morosfrom a Llanete de Los Moros, dated to the 13th-11th century bc
    4)Some fragments of a pithos crater of debated mycenaean/cypriot/syro-palestinese production from Cuesta del Negro-Purullena, dated to the 14th century bc and found in association with Cogotas I ceramics
    5)Three cypriot vases from Paterna de la Ribera, Gadir, dated to 950-850 bc
    6)Five bronze bowls with parallels in Cyprus and in the Syrian-Palestinese coast from Baioes in Portugal, dated to 1100-950 bc
    7)Some other bronze bowls from two funerary contexts from Nora Velha-Beja, Casa del Carpio-Toledo with parallels in Cyprus and Sardinia dated to the 10th-9th century bc
    8)Cypriot and Nuragic ceramics from two different pre-phoenician contexts in Huelva dated to the 10th-9th century bc
    9)A Philistine bronze bowl from Berzocana dated to the 11th century bc

    I'm missing some of them such as the many metallic artifacts of either cypriot production or central mediterranean imitation dated to 11th-9th century bc such as the tripods found in Portugal, I've also omitted some of the Mycenaean fragments from Murcia dated to the 14th century bc which I can't find at the moment. Vice versa starting from at least the 11th century bc many bronze artifacts of Atlantic tradition reached the Central Mediterranean and even the Eastern Mediterranean as far as Cyprus and the Levant, for example the Altantic articulate skeward from a tomb in Amathus, Cyprus dated to 1000 bc.

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