Turismo de Alcalá de Guadaíra

Late Bronze Age and Iron Age

10th - 3rd centuries BCE

During Late Bronze Age (10th-8th centuries BCE) agricultural settlement becomes active again, not only at the zone of Los Alcores, but also at the Guadaíra's and Guadairilla's countryside. It is also maintained the presence of small agricultural and cattle farming villages along with larger villages, generally placed at higher zones. The most known example is still Mesa de Gandul, although Late bronze sites are distributed over a great part of the territory: UPO (Pablo de Olavide University), Torre Abad, Torre de la Membrilla, Cerro Blanco...

Along with the agricultural economy, commercial exchanges were also activated, made easier by the roads network related to the cattle seasonal migration. This inside zone of Los Alcores and the Campiña will be put in contact with Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts through the commerce when (ca. 8th century BCE) Phoenicians presence in the South of the Iberian Peninsula starts.

How is the society at this moment? Between the 10th and the 8th centuries BCE we find "native" groups organized in agricultural villages, following the previous guidelines of settlement: high places, access to water courses and roads, as well as to the cultivation zones. Roads allowed commerce, exchange of technology and the seasonal migration of cattle, and from the 8th century BCE the penetration of technological and economic innovations from the Mediterranean coast.

Among the villages of the Late Bronze Age some larger settlements outstand, and at the Southwest area of Los Alcores once again the village from Mesa de Gandul has to be marked. During this age the small plateau is fortified with a stone wall that can still be seen here and there.

From the 8th century BCE on, contact with merchants and agricultural Phoenician colonists makes possible the appearance of small city - estates, named by Greek historians as Tartessos. It is a world based on the exploitation of mining, cattle and agricultural resources, and the exchange of these raw materials for Mediterranean manufactures. This commerce favours some social groups, whose political and military control results in the prosperity of some villages and the building of princely tombs.

Marble Piece of the Warrior
"Marble Piece of the Warrior", piece of Phoenician origin found in one of the princely burial places of Bencarrón

In Gandul and Bencarrón some princely tombs are found, as well as an extensive funerary zone that tells us about this period when Tartessian natives would live together merchants and agricultural colonists of Mediterranean origin.

From the 6th century BCE on, the end of the commercial contacts with the Mediterranean Orient makes Tartessian society turn toward their internal resources (agriculture and cattle). This is the Turdetanus period at Lower Guadalquivir (6th to 3rd centuries BCE), with sites of certain importance in the area of Alcalá, like Gandul, Marchenilla or the Castle Hill, that becomes populated once more in these moments. This period ends with a rising Carthaginian presence in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, materialized in the military control that leads to Punic War II (219 - 201 BCE). The Carthaginian presence in the area of Alcalá is often remarked by the presence of a treasure of Carthaginian coins found at Gandul site.

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