Gold laden tombs of male and female aristocratic Iberian warriors found in Spain


A recent discovery by archaeologists in Spain is shedding light on the way ancient Spanish warriors lived and were buried once they had passed from this world, and the results suggest that members of the Spanish aristocracy some 2,600 years ago lived very well indeed.

Ancient Origins explains where and how the tombs were located:

“A team of archaeologists excavating in Castilla-La Mancha, in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula which occupies most of the southern sub-plateau, have told Spanish media about their incredible discovery of 25 gold laden tombs which they think might have belonged to an ‘ancient Iberian prince and aristocrats.’

“This all began in 2013 when a team of archaeologists and historians including María del Rosario García Huerta, Francisco Javier Morales Hervás, and David Rodríguez González began investigating the necropolis of Alarcos which led to their discovery of 25 tombs of Iberian warrior aristocrats located in an ancient Iberian city dating from the end of the 6th century BC.”

Archaeologists working in the graves they discovered in Alarcos (Via El Pais)

Of particular interest to the team of archaeologists were the many gold objects found buried along with the warriors. In total, 320 objects were discovered, with nine percent of them being crafted from gold. That led Dr. Rodriguez to suggest that one of the tombs, “because of the large blocks of carved stone used to build it” probably belonged to a Spanish prince:

“It can’t be a coincidence that the majority of the richest tombs in the Alarcos necropolis ascribed to aristocratic warriors are from this precise period or after.”

The tomb suspected of belonging to an Iberian prince (Via El Pais)

The Spanish newspaper El Pais notes that the tombs help clarify “first-hand the habits of the Oretani tribe that lived on the Manchego surface.”

Interestingly, two of the tombs belonged to women, who were also buried with weapons. Another tomb contained 450 sheep bones, which researchers said suggests that animal sacrifice was likely a part of the burial ceremony for these highly exalted members of the Spanish upper class.

 

Some of the famed Iberian swords found in the tombs (Via El Pais)
The Prince

Of particular interest is the tomb of the suspected Iberian prince:

“The researchers said the necropolis of Alarcos might hold the valuable resting place of a prince who fought against Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca in the 3rd century BC. David Rodriguez is a Professor of Prehistory at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and he told Spanish media outlet El Espanol that “researchers still had to establish the role those buried played during Hamilcar’s campaign in ancient Iberia.

 

Iberian soldier via Museo de Prehistoria de Valencia – Guerrer Iber – MPV, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
Another of the tombs found in Alarcos (Via El Pais)

Hamilcar Barca, it should be noted, was also known as the father of Hannibal. Hannibal is now widely considered to be one of the greatest military leaders in history. His army was said to have crossed the Alps on elephants as a strategy used to conquer what is known as the Italian peninsula.

Hannibal as portrayed in the documentary by Timeline – World History Documentaries, YouTube

Excavation of the site is expected to continue for months to come.

The Spanish conquistadors were also fearsome warriors. Here’s more on them:

More about Hannibal below from Timeline – World History Documentaries:


Featured Image Via YouTube Screenshot


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Harrison Kirk