Tomb Location and Grave Goods: Continuous Use and Destruction in the Rio de Gor Megalithic Necropoleis
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AuthorSpanedda, Liliana; Afonso Marrero, José Andrés; Cámara Serrano, Juan Antonio; Molina González, Fernando; Montufo Martín, Antonio Manuel; Pau, Claudia; Haro Navarro, Martín
Sudeste de la Península IbéricaSoutheastern IberiaMegalitosMegalithsControl del territorioTerritorial controlCultura de Los MillaresLos Millares CultureReutilización de megalitosReuse of megalithsAjuares funerariosGrave goods
SPANEDDA, L., AFONSO MARRERO, J.A., CÁMARA SERRANO, J.A., MOLINA GONZÁLEZ, F., MONTUFO MARTÍN, A.M., PAU, C., HARO NAVARRO, M. (2014): Tomb Location and Grave Goods: Continuous Use and Destruction in the Rio de Gor Megalithic Necropoleis, Neolithic and Copper Age Monuments: Emergence, function and the social construction of the landscape (B. Schulz Paulsson, B. Gaydarska, Eds.), British Archaeological Reports. International Series 2625, Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 107-124.
SponsorshipConsejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía
Rio de Gor Megalithic necropoleis are one of the most important funerary clusters in Southern Iberian Peninsula. We attempted to study megalith and settlement characteristics in relation to social organization according to the scarce and old available data. Firstly, an evaluation of previous unsystematic surveys and looters destructions of monuments has been made by taking into account location of preserved tombs. Visibility GIS analysis, with the help of ancient cartographic data, have let us to suggest a hypothetical location of graves that have disappeared. GIS techniques have been used to geo-reference old archaeological maps in order to identify their approximate position. Secondly, analysis of topographic location, Total Viewshed and Cumulative Viewshed Analysis using GIS was performed to evaluate the role of visual dominance over the entire terrain. The results have shown that graves were used to mark routes in two ways, from South to North along the river course and from the valley to the plateau. Settlements were located near the valley bottom although there are some chronological and hierarchical differences. Thirdly, we have seen that tombs were not only used for a long period of time but also that they were probably arranged in groups around some of the most monumental examples, those containing rich grave goods and marking the river course in the Chalcolithic period. Probably routes from the valley to the plateau were generated by the addition of tombs from the beginning of the Late Neolithic and the system was completed with the building of great trapezoidal tombs during the third millennium BC. Fourthly, tomb reuse has been proven in the Middle and the Late Bronze Age, when there was not only pursuit for justification by tradition but also redefinition of territorial control linked to elite. This is shown by the fact that the Late Bronze Age use of the megaliths was only in relation to rich burials as can be inferred from the great amount of silver ornaments they contain.