Tuesday, August 9, 2016

First Bell Beaker earthwork enclosure found in Spain (University of Tübingen)

First Bell Beaker earthwork enclosure found in Spain: Archaeologists have discovered an earthwork enclosure in southern Spain dating from the Bell Beaker period of 2,600 to 2,200 BCE. The complex of concentric rings may have been used for holding rituals; such earthwork enclosures have previously only been found in the northern half of Europe.  (Science Daily)

via ScienceDaily

The new enslosure, La Loma del Real Tesoro II is very large and begins and ends with the Bell Beaker Culture, according to the release.   The site is close to Seville, which is the southern part of Spain in the plain of the Guadalquivir, about an hour north of Cadiz.

See also Heritage Daily and the press release from the University of Tübingen.

Image: SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen, Javier Escudero Carrillo and Elisabet Conlin


  1. Just recently a similar enclosure (a henge, but a more modest one, which was known locally ad A Roda 'the wheel') was found and excavated (and saved) in Galicia, some 1000km north of Seville, when it was going to be destroyed by a new highway:



    On the other hand, I wonder if there is a relation between henges and cup-and-ring marks (central cup + enclosures + gap = processional way?), which are so frequent in Ireland, Britain, Britany, Galicia, but which are present also in the Alps or in Sardegna:



    In particular, there's one in Galicia, in Louro, Muros (on the Atlantic coast), where a large depression in the stone was used as central cup, and this cup was enclosed by three circles and then encircled by a final group of some 50 cups, all traversed by a large gap:


    Well, just some daydreaming :-)

    1. Well you have a very interesting theory. I looked up one of the cup and ring marks from 'Laxe das Rodas' in Galicia (which is also illustrated on the Wiki page under Cup and ring marks,

      It does look a lot like the layout of the earthwork enclosures, almost to the point that it would seem the most reasonable. I'd be interested to know if the orientation of the drain from the cup mark is along a cardinal direction, like the large enclosures.

      In any case, this new enclosure on the Guadalquivir is particularly interesting because it is almost equidistant from Perdigoes on the Guadiana from Zambujal on the Tajo to Perdigoes. It appears that the first copper metal in Zambujal was produced near Perdigoes, or actually transported maybe directly from Perdigos. So it will be interesting to see how the three relate in time. Thanks for posting the links.

  2. Sadly I think that the drain (or drains) in most cup-and-ring marks -including the ones at the Laxe das Rodas site- are placed either arbitrarily or following the rock features; at least they don't appear to be oriented along a cardinal direction:

  3. https://vimeo.com/21436545

    This video makes the case that at least some of these henges were designed as stadiums in which entertainment, games, or perhaps blood sports took place. People have always enjoyed being entertained have they not? What do you think?

    1. That's an interesting theory. I'll have to give this more thought.

      Some of the very large enclosures were certainly habitations, but it would be interesting if some of the smaller enclosures were religious circuses or tlachtli. That's for posting the video. Very intriguing.

    2. Can I ask you some broad questions about Neolithic civilizations? These civilizations in Europe, Middle East, Egypt, Indus Valley, and China all seem to spring quickly out of nowhere about the same time. The population growth seems pretty quick and then they all seem to have abrupt population collapses at about the same general time frame. There was also some major climate changes at about the time of the collapses. The 4.2 kiloyear event where major sections of the planet became much dryer such as North Africa, Middle East, and parts of China. Noah's flood, if true, would have happened at about this time. I read one post on your blog that seemed to show that a large percentage of Neolithic people died and where buried in different regions than where they grew up. This seems to me to be possible if people lived very long lives(as described in Genesis) and had the ability to have children over long span of time and thus could have lots of children and then the population would increase rapidly and spread rapidly. What evidence would you say supports or mitigates against the scenario described in the book of Genesis? Thanks for your time.

    3. Sorry for the late response Charles. I think the best approach is to not force things that are too obscure or well understood. This is true for archaeology as well. Often secularists and biblical scholars make claims for and against events and epochs of the Bible on a desire to prove something to themselves or others instead of accepting what is the nature of a fragmented human history.
      As to the biblical flood I find the Black Sea deluge theory interesting, although there is some debate to how fast it happened.