FRAL - Franco-allemand en sciences humaines et sociales

Iron Age landscapes on the Straits of Gibraltar: the territories of La Silla del Papa and Los Castillejos de Alcorrín (ninth to first century BC) – ARCHEOSTRAITS

ARCHEOSTRAITS

Iron Age landscapes on the Straits of Gibraltar: the territories of La Silla del Papa and Los Castillejos de Alcorrín (ninth to first century BC)

Main issues raised & general objectives

This project has as its starting point the excavations carried out by a Franco-Spanish team and by a German-Spanish team on the two largest Iron Age settlements of the north side of the Strait of Gibraltar, separated by a distance of 40 km: La Silla del Papa in Tarifa (Cadiz) and Los Castillejos de Alcorrín in Manilva (Malaga). These two hill forts, established at the time of the first Phoenician colonial settlements in the West, controlled a coastal area while being set back from the coast themselves. They both give rise to the same questions about the structuring of territories in a highly compartmentalised area, about the tension between a maritime tradition and defensive concerns, about the complementarity between the exploitation of fishing resources and agro-pastoral uses of the land. Lastly, they both harboured hybrid communities, with a mixture of Phoenician and indigenous components. <br />The aim is to jointly examine the spatial analysis of these sites in their environment in greater depth: precise demarcation of the habitat, identification of territorial markers (towers, funeral monuments), location of cemeteries, location of quarries, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, demonstration of links with a port site, assessment of agro-pastoral resources, estimation of the size of the terrain required. In other words, it involves going beyond the archaeological site to understand the way in which it is integrated into a specific area, taking into account, on the one hand, the constraints of the natural environment, and on the other hand the strategies developed by its inhabitants in terms, particularly, of cultural factors relating to their origins. <br />

The aim is to jointly examine the spatial analysis of these sites in their environment in greater depth: precise demarcation of the habitat, identification of territorial markers (towers, funeral monuments), location of cemeteries, location of quarries, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, demonstration of links with a port site, assessment of agro-pastoral resources, estimation of the size of the terrain required. In other words, it involves going beyond the archaeological site to understand the way in which it is integrated into a specific area, taking into account, on the one hand, the constraints of the natural environment, and on the other hand the strategies developed by its inhabitants in terms, particularly, of cultural factors relating to their origins.
This work will be carried out using an approach involving geoarchaeology and spatial archaeology, on various scales, based on the most advanced methods: acquisition of space data by onboard sensors on drones, complemented by subsurface information obtained using geophysical methods as well as drilling sequences. The project will rest on acquired knowledge in order to develop innovative technologies. Thus, for the topographical component, the selected sites will serve as a test area for the use of a thermal camera; and for the geoarchaeological component, in order to consolidate the dating performed by 14C or to complement the latter in sedimentary layers lacking in organic matter, the technique of OSL dating (carried out by the Cologne Luminescence Lab) will be employed.

The project started in October 2014.

Among expected results: identification and precise delimitation of habitat areas and therefore estimation of the number of inhabitants, identification of territorial markers, extra-urban sanctuaries and cemeteries, reconstruction of the palaeo-environment, highlighting communication network, evaluation of agro-pastoral resources. Reconstructing the ancient coastline will be a crucial issue, in order to understand the relationships between local communities of the hinterland with coastal settlements founded or used by Phoenician traders.

Moret P. & Prados F., « Les deux Baelo : du site perché protohistorique au site portuaire romain sur la rive nord du détroit de Gibraltar », in: L. Mercuri, R. González Villaescusa & Fr. Bertoncello (dir.), Implantations humaines en milieu littoral méditerranéen. XXXIVes Rencontres internationales d’archéologie et d’histoire d’Antibes, Antibes, 2014, p. 137-148.

Prados, F., Muñoz, Á., García, I. & Moret, P., « Bajar al mar y… ¿hacerse romano? De la Silla del Papa a Baelo Claudia », in: B. Mora Serrano & G. Cruz Andreotti (ed.), La etapa neopúnica en Hispania y el Mediterráneo centro-occidental: identidades compartidas. VII Coloquio Internacional del Centro de Estudios Fenicios y Púnicos (Málaga, 28-29 noviembre 2011), Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, 2012, p. 301-329.

Marzoli, D., “Neugründungen im phönizischen Westen: Los Castillejos de Alcorrín, Morro de Mezquitilla und Mogador”, Archäologischer Anzeiger, 2012, n° 2, p. 29-64.

This project has as its starting point the excavations carried out by a Franco-Spanish team and by a German-Spanish team on the two largest Iron Age settlements of the north side of the Strait of Gibraltar, separated by a distance of 40 km: La Silla del Papa in Tarifa (Cadiz) and Los Castillejos de Alcorrín in Manilva (Malaga). These two hill forts, established at the time of the first Phoenician colonial settlements in the West, controlled a coastal area while being set back from the coast themselves. They both give rise to the same questions about the structuring of territories in a highly compartmentalised area, about the tension between a maritime tradition and defensive concerns, about the complementarity between the exploitation of fishing resources and agro-pastoral uses of the land. Lastly, they both harboured hybrid communities, with a mixture of Phoenician and indigenous components.
The aim is to jointly examine the spatial analysis of these sites in their environment in greater depth: precise demarcation of the habitat, identification of territorial markers (towers, funeral monuments), location of cemeteries, location of quarries, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, demonstration of links with a port site, assessment of agro-pastoral resources, estimation of the size of the terrain required. In other words, it involves going beyond the archaeological site to understand the way in which it is integrated into a specific area, taking into account, on the one hand, the constraints of the natural environment, and on the other hand the strategies developed by its inhabitants in terms, particularly, of cultural factors relating to their origins.
This work will be carried out using an approach involving geoarchaeology and spatial archaeology, on various scales, based on the most advanced methods: acquisition of space data by onboard sensors on drones, complemented by subsurface information obtained using geophysical methods as well as drilling sequences. The project will rest on acquired knowledge in order to develop innovative technologies. Thus, for the topographical component, the selected sites will serve as a test area for the use of a thermal camera and a miniaturised LIDAR carried by a drone; and for the geoarchaeological component, in order to consolidate the dating performed by 14C or to complement the latter in sedimentary layers lacking in organic matter, the technique of OSL dating (carried out by the Cologne Luminescence Lab) will be employed.
The same study protocols will be applied to the two study areas. The pooling of technical means and methodologies developed by the two partners in truly integrated collaboration will be the watchword of this project, which is based on many years of experience of joint projects between the two coordinators. This synergy is a guarantee for the success of a ground breaking project, unprecedented in southern Spain, that could not have been initiated independently by any of the two partners.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Pierre MORET (Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés) – moret@univ-tlse2.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

DAI Deutsches Archäologisches Institut - Abteilung Madrid
TRACES Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés

Help of the ANR 211,432 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2014 - 36 Months

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