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Route of the Iberians in Andalusia

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  • View of the archaeological site of Cástulo. Linares © José Lucas Ruiz. Diputación de Jaén

    View of the archaeological site of Cástulo. Linares © José Lucas Ruiz. Diputación de Jaén

  • Burial chamber of Toya © Diputación de Jaén

    Burial chamber of Toya © Diputación de Jaén

  • Cyclopean wall. Ibros © Diputación de Jaén

    Cyclopean wall. Ibros © Diputación de Jaén

  • Archaeological site of Cerrillo Blanco © Diputación de Jaén

    Archaeological site of Cerrillo Blanco © Diputación de Jaén

  • Walls and Boabdil tower in Porcuna © Tinta Blanca Editores. Diputación de Jaén

    Walls and Boabdil tower in Porcuna © Tinta Blanca Editores. Diputación de Jaén

  

The Iberians in southern Spain

This cultural route in Andalusia is a chance to discover the archaeological heritage of Iberian origin to be found in the province of Jaén. The visit to such emblematic places as the ancient city of Cástulo or to institutions like the Jaén Provincial Museum reveal the history of the Iberians who inhabited the area on the upper Guadalquivir between the 7th century B.C. and the 1st century A.D.

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The Route of the Iberians in Andalusia covers seven points distributed throughout the province of Jaén. The distances between them are relatively short –a little over 65 kilometres on the longer stretches– so the car is the best way to travel.

The journey begins in the town of Castellar, at the Iberian shrine of the La Lobera cave . This is a rock shrine dating from between the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. Numerous votive items were recovered from this site (offerings and carved figures), which can today be seen in the Museum of the Iberian Shrine of Castellar, located a little over 1 kilometre from the cave.
 

The route then continues towards Peal del Becerro to visit the Hornos hypogeum (underground vault for the dead) and the burial chamber of Toya. These are examples of the tombs of the Iberian aristocracy, and reveal their funerary rites and their evolution over the years. The next stop is the town of Ibros, the site of a Cyclopean wall which today stands inside the actual town and is an important architectural reminder of the Iberian culture. It can be seen on the corner of Calle del Pilar street and Calle del Castillo. A surprising fact is that these enormous stones were originally held together without any type of mortar.
 

Our next stop is Linares, and specifically the site of the city of Cástulo and its monographic museum. This museum offers a chance to learn more about the history of the Second Punic War, and how the Iberian city became Romanised. We then set out for Jaén to visit the raised site (oppidum) of Puente Tablas, which contains a fortified Iberian settlement from the 4th century B.C.
The next stop on the route is the Jaén Provincial Museum, home to one of the most important Iberian archaeological collections in existence. This centre contains the sculpture group discovered in the heroic shrine of El Pajarillo, located in the town of Huelma, which depicts the struggle between a warrior and a wolf. It also has a group of Iberian sculptures which were found at the archaeological site of Cerrillo Blanco in Porcuna These are highly realistic figures of fighting warriors, dating from the 5th century B.C.
This is now the final destination on the route, which is precisely the settlement of Cerrillo Blanco in Porcuna. There is a visitor centre beside this necropolis dating from the 7th century B.C., which offers keys to this archaeological site through audiovisual displays and interactive panels. The Porcuna Museum also has an interesting collection of Iberian-Roman sculptures, and is located in the historic centre of the town, in the 15th-century Boabdil tower.
 

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