Subject: elite warrior
Culture: Iberian Chalcolithic
Setting: 4th-3rdm BC
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* McIntosh 2006 p149
"A few sites surrounded by massive walls appeared in the late fourth millennium in the Tagus estuary in southern Portugal and Almeria in southeast Spain. The walls, which often had bastions, were remarkably thick. Little evidence suggests warlike activity at the time, and it is likely that the walls were built more for show, to gain local prestige, than for defense. [CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION: Have massive walls with bastions ever been built for anything other than defense?] Beside the the settlements were megalithic tombs. These sites continued in use into the late thirrd millennium, perhaps as the home of the evolving local elite whose rich burials were still be found in the local megalithic tombs."
* Spain 1992 p14 (Bernat Martí Oliver, "Neolithic art" p12-23)
"[A] horizon of fundamental change, equivalent to the earlier introduction of agriculture that defines the Neolithic, occurred during the first half of the third millenium B.C. At this time, copper metallurgy emerged in various areas of the Iberian peninsula through a process as yet poorly understood. Knowledge of metallurgy may have been acquired through contacts with the Mediterranean, and recent research has shown that late-Neolithic peoples in the southeastern region and the Tagus estuary played a particularly active role in its spread. Toward the end of the fourth millenium these populations had begun to build megalithic tombs. tomb building of this kind spread gradually throughout the peninsula, except to the Valencia region, where we know only the burials in natural caves, and to some areas of Catalonia, where Neolithic culture was characterized by individual pit burials.
"Metal-working was well established in the southeast by the middle of the third millenium. The town of Los Millares (Almería) includes three lines of defensive walls and an extensive necropolis of circular megalithic chamber tombs (tholoi). False domes formed of concentric rings of stones hold up the mound of earth above a circle of megaliths, which one approaches along stone passageways, past occasional stone slabs with porthole-like apertures.
"A complex system of small forts located on nearby high ground defended the town and the necropolis from incursions by neighboring groups whose settlements are characterized by burial structures of the dolmen type. Similar settlements have been identified in the Huelva region and in the lower reaches of the Tagus, with large defensive works, barbicans and towers (such as those of Vila Nova de Sao Pedro y Zambujal) and tombs of the tholos type."