First-Ever Tartessian Figured Reliefs Uncovered
The V excavation campaign at the Turunuelo Houses, a Tartessian site in Guareña, Badajoz, has unearthed the first figured reliefs belonging tocivilziation of Tartessos (8th-4th centuries BC). This 5th-century BC find represents a significant shift in understanding Tartessian culture, which was previously thought to be aniconic and depicted divinity through animal or plant motifs or sacred stones called betilos.
Tartessos Civilization: Institute of Archaeology Team Reveals Findings
Esther Rodríguez González and Sebastián Celestino Pérez, archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology – a joint venture between the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Junta de Extremadura – announced at a press conference on Tuesday that two of the recovered reliefs are nearly complete. These reliefs depict female figures wearing prominent earrings, representing a characteristic of goldsmithing during the time of the Tartessos civilization.
Gold Pieces Connect to Other Tartessian Treasures
Until this discovery, such gold pieces were only known through finds at sites like Cancho Roano or the Aliseda treasure, a Tartessian funerary collection discovered in Cáceres. The exceptional craftsmanship and artistic detail suggest these may represent two female divinities of the Tartessian pantheon. However, researchers have not ruled out the possibility that they are prominent Tartessian society figures.
Additional Figured Reliefs Found at Site
Alongside the two female figures, archaeologists have recovered fragments from at least three other individuals, including a warrior identifiable by a partial helmet. This discovery further underscores the significance of the Turunuelo Houses site and the importance of Tartessian culture in the Guadiana valley during its final stages.