The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources (among others,
Hecataeus of Miletus, Avienus, Herodotand Strabo) identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsulaat least from the 6th century BC. These included: the Airenosi, Andosini, Ausetani, Bastetani, Bastuli, Bergistani, Castellani, Cessetani, Ceretani, Contestani, Edetani, Elisices, Iacetani, Ilercavones, Ilergetes, Indigetes, Lacetani, Laietani, Oretani, Sedetani, Sordones, Suessetani, and Turdetani(notice that there are some doubts regarding the ethno-linguistic affiliation of some of these). The Roman and Greek sources often diverge about the precise location of each Iberian people and also about the list of Iberian peoples.
The Iberians were not a clearly defined
culture, ethnic groupor political entity. The name is instead a blanket term for a number of peoples belonging to a pre-Roman, Iron Ageculture inhabiting the Iberian peninsulawho have been historically identified as "Iberian". Although these peoples shared certain common features, they were by no means homogeneous and they diverged widely in other respects.
The Iberians lived in isolated communities based on a tribal organization. They also had a knowledge of
metalworking, including bronze, and agriculturaltechniques. In the centuries preceding Carthaginian and Roman conquest, Iberian settlements grew in social complexity, exhibiting evidence of social stratificationand urbanization. This process was probably aided by trading contacts with the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians. Among the most important goods traded by the Iberians were precious metals, particularly tinand copper.
Phoeniciansestablished their first colonyon the Iberian Peninsula in 1100 B.C. ("Gadir", "Gades", modern Cádiz) and probably made contact with Iberians then or shortly thereafter.
Greek colonists made the first historical reference to the Iberians in the
6th century B.C.The Greeks also dubbed as "Iberians" another people, currently known as Caucasian Iberians. It is not known whether the two had any connection.
Neolithicexpansion.] The origin of the Iberians is not certain, but there are two theories concerning such:
*One theory suggests that they arrived in
Spainsometime during the Neolithicperiod, with their arrival being dated from as early as the fifth millennium BCto the third millennium BC(see Cardium culture). Most scholars adhering to this theory believe from archaeological, anthropologicaland genetic evidences that the Iberians came from a region farther east in the Mediterranean. Others have suggested that they may have originated in North Africa. The Iberians would have initially settled along the eastern coast of Spain, and then possibly spread throughout the rest of the Iberian Peninsulalater on. [ [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/I27_INV/IBERIANS_Iberi_I_3r7Aes_.html IBERIANS (Iberi, "I(3r... - Online Information article about IBERIANS (Iberi, "I(3r ] ] [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761568486/Iberians.html Iberians - MSN Encarta ] ] [ [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Iberians.html Iberians - Encyclopedia.com ] ] [ [http://historymedren.about.com/library/text/bltxtspain2.htm Spain: Historical Setting - Library of Congress Country Study - Iberia] ] [ [http://www.lhhpaleo.religionstatistics.net/LHH%20neolithic.html THE GREAT COLONIZATIONS - THE NEOLITHIC] ]
*An alternative theory states that they were part of the original inhabitants of
Western Europeand the creators/heirs of the great megalithic culture in all this area, a theory possibly supported by genetic studies. The Iberians would then be similar to the populations subdued by the Celts in the first millennium BCin Ireland, Britain and France. [ [http://indoeuro.bizland.com/archive/article7.html Picts and Pictish language: an article by Cyril Babaev ] ] [ [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/I27_INV/IBERIANS_Iberi_I_3r7Aes_.html IBERIANS (Iberi, "I(3r... - Online Information article about IBERIANS (Iberi, "I(3r ] ] Celtscrossed the Pyreneesinto Spain in two major migrations in the ninth and the seventh centuries B.C. The Celts settled for the most part north of the Rio Dueroand the Rio Ebro, where they mixed with the Iberians to form groups called Celtiberians." [ [http://historymedren.about.com/library/text/bltxtspain2.htm Spain: Historical Setting - Library of Congress Country Study - Iberia] ] [ [http://www.lhhpaleo.religionstatistics.net/LHH%20neolithic.html THE GREAT COLONIZATIONS - THE NEOLITHIC] ] [ [http://www.lhhpaleo.religionstatistics.net/LHH%20iberia.html FIRST NEOLITHIC] ]
The Iberians traded extensively with other Mediterranean cultures. Iberian
potteryhas been found in France, Italy, and North Africa. The Iberians also had extensive contact with Greek colonists. The Iberians may have adopted some of the Greeks' artistic techniques. Statues such as the Lady of Bazaand the Lady of Elxare thought to have been made by Iberians relatively well acquainted with Greek art. Thucydidesstated that one of the three original tribes of Sicily, the Sicani, were of Iberian origin, though "Iberian" at the time could have included what we think of as Gaul. [cite news|url=http://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art141.htm|publisher=Best of Sicily|title=Sicilian Peoples: The Sicanians|date= 7 October2007]
The Iberians were placed under
Carthaginianrule for a short time between the First and Second Punic Wars. They supplied troops to Hannibal's army. The Romans subsequently conquered the Iberian Peninsula and slowly absorbed the local culture and language.
The Iberian language, like the rest of
paleohispanic languages, became extinct by the 1st to 2nd centuries AD, after being gradually replaced by Latin. Iberian seems to be a language isolate. It is certainly not an Indo-European language. Links with other languages have been claimed, but they have not been demonstrated. One such proposed link was with the Basque language, but this theory is also disputed.
The Iberians use three different scripts to represent the
Northeastern Iberian script
** Dual variant (
4th century BCand 3rd century BC)
** Non-dual variant (
2nd century BCand 1st century BC)
Southeastern Iberian script
Greco-Iberian alphabet Northeastern Iberian scriptand southeastern Iberian scriptshare a common distinctive typological characteristic, also present in other paleohispanic scripts: they present signs with syllabic value for the occlusives and signs with monofonematic value for the rest of consonantsand vowels. From a writing systemspoint of view they are neither alphabetsnor syllabaries, they are mixed scripts that normally are identified as semi-syllabaries. About this common origin, there is no agreement between researchers: for some this origin is only linked to the Phoenician alphabetwhile for others the Greek alphabethad participated too.
* Beltrán, Miguel (
1996): "Los iberos en Aragón", Zaragoza.
* Ruiz, Arturo; Molinos, Manuel (
1993): "Los iberos", Barcelona.
* Sanmartí, Joan; Santacana, Joan (
2005): "Els ibers del nord", Barcelona.
* Sanmartí, Joan (
2005): [http://www.dpz.es/ifc2/publi/fichapublic.asp?recid=2622 «La conformación del mundo ibérico septentrional»] , "Palaeohispanica" 5, pp. 333-358.
"Modern peoples of Iberia:"
"Pre-Roman cultures of Iberia:"
Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
"Related to Iberian culture:"
* [http://www.arqueotavira.com/Mapas/Iberia/Populi.htm Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC)]
* [http://www.webpersonal.net/jrr/index.htm Iberian Epigraphy Page, by J.R. Ramos]
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