Saturday, October 11, 2014

Government Seat of El Argar Discovered

The discovery of gold, silver, jewels and fine wares were announced from Spain last week.  The size of the royal complex testifies to the power and wealth of the Argaric Bronze Age of Southeast Iberia with connections in the Aegean, possibly Mycenaean or the late Vučedol Culture of the Northern Balkans.

The great hall or court of the palace had a podium at the fore and semi-circular seating for nobles.  One of its apparent queens from this year's dig wore a silver crown in burial.  (A number of Argaric queens(?) have been found with these tiara's alongside well-armed and richly adorned males)

What makes this discovery so special is that La Alomoya is now the oldest government building in the continent.  Re-read that five times.

Husband and Wife
Several interesting footnotes:

Argaric Culture marks an end to Bell Beaker and Megalithic cultural influence within its region.  With its growth, the Atlantic becomes increasingly isolated and dependent on Central Europe for international trade.
It is only with the end of Argar that strong pan-Atlantic trade and cultural expression is renewed with the Atlantic Bronze Age (c1300).

The rise and fall of Almeria's influence in Iberia is inversely proportional to the rise and fall of Bell Beaker.

A King and Queen of Almeria?
Read more about the Discovery at LiveScience
Read "El Argar and the Beginning of Class Society in the Western Mediterranean"
Maju on finds from "La Bastida"
Pithos from La Bastida several years ago [Ayuntamiento de Totana]


  1. Interesting perspective an El Argar as cultural bottleneck that squeezes out Bell Beaker. Not sure that I buy it.

    I was about to dispute the "oldest government building on continent" assertion, but then recalled that my suggested alternatives were either Egyptian (i.e. in Africa), or W Asian or SW Asian (and hence not Europe either).

    I do think that one could argue that the distinction between megalithic temples and government buildings in Sardinia and Britain and France and Iberia is dubious, but it is hard to be very definitive on that point. I also have suspicions that some Vinca structures, which would be older and strictly continental, might be older and governmental.

    1. I had the same reaction as well.

      Just to clarify since I think out load poorly, I think the 4.2 kiloyear event may have been the initial disruptive force for Atlantic trade and pan-Beakerhood. This was followed by a barbarian implantation in SE Iberia (Argar) whose North Balkan parent also inspired Mycenaean Helladic III.

      Argar's encroaching control over Gibraltar and (probably Algarve) disrupted the North Atlantic which became increasingly backwards and old fashioned. (Also totally dependent on trade with the Continent)