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II International Congress on Tartessus

Studies on Tartessian culture have acquired a singular prominence in recent years thanks to new archaeological discoveries and the use of new methodologies that have allowed us to significantly expand our knowledge. It cannot be overlooked that there are different interpretations of the concept of Tartessus: those who place it at a time prior to Mediterranean colonisation, already with a strong cultural personality; or those who conceive it as the result of a process of colonisation, with a clear originality resulting from the indigenous contribution. Within these two positions there are many nuances, but what is unquestionable is that after the Phoenician and Greek colonisation, a culture arose throughout the southern peninsular that manifested its originality through its architecture, craftsmanship, religiosity, political organisation and funerary rites.

For this reason, the aim of the 2nd International Conference is to identify the changes brought about by colonial contacts, not only in the core area of Tartessus, but also in other parts of the Mediterranean and along the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, in order to compare the results. It is also of great interest to examine the consequences of Tartessian colonisation in the surrounding territories, where its culture, also filtered, either survived until its definitive decline or was transformed into a new cultural manifestation.

The choice of Mérida as the location for this conference responds to this purpose, that of assessing the Tartessian culture not only from its original area, but also from the surrounding areas, which have sometimes provided excellent information on the development of its culture, even if it is limited to its last stage. In short, we are particularly interested in detecting the reaction of the different indigenous communities to the Mediterranean colonisation and their evolution until the formation of new cultural manifestations.

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