Archaeologists of the University of Barcelona have conducted new excavations in the Iberian sites of Kum-Castellet de Banyoles and Coll del Moro in Serra d’Almos, both in the town of Tivissa (Ribera d’Ebre).
El Castellet de Banyoles is the only documented Iberian town in the lower course of the Ebro River. It was destroyed in the late 3rd century BC within the context of the Second Punic War, fought between Rome and Carthage. In 1937, the archaeologists Lluís Brull, Josep de C. Serra Ràfols and Salvador Vilaseca conducted excavations during the forties. This year, researchers re-excavated a 6,000 square meter sector near the pentagonal towerds, which enabled them to recover and study nine archaeological remains that were left. This action also enabled them to find a new part of the wall that was not documented in the excavations conducted in the forties.
In Coll del Moro, the second excavation campaign carried out by the UB aims to recover the archaeological remains excavated by Vilaseca during last century’s fifties. In those excavations, the researchers found building remains from a village, a funerary barrow built on two rooms, Iberian ceramics and bone remains. In the current campaign, the researchers have delimited the settlement and have excavated four sites in the upper part. The good conservation of the structures, some of them higher than 1.5 meters, is noteworthy.
UB researcher Rafael Jornet says the advances in the research on Iberian culture in the town of Tivissa “reach a qualitative advance with the incorporation of the excavations of Serra d’Almos, which enable us to incise in a less known period in this territory: the Ancient Iberian”. “During this period –notes the expert–, a social hierarchized structure gets consolidated, starting during the first Iron Age, which featured a minority sector of nobles with power and wealth”. These are known in the anthropological analysis of social evolution as big men, those who shape the first systems of political integration, covering a modest territory. According to Jornet, Coll del Moro in Serra d’Almos is understood as “a great fortified building where one of these leading families would live, where they would store their own products and others from Mediterranean cities, they would make crafts and would hold ceremonies and feasts where food and drinks would be a central part of it, to confirm and stress their privileged position”.
The excavations are part of the quadrennial research project “Formació, desenvolupament i dissolució de cultura ibèrica al curs inferior de l’Ebre (s. IX-I aC)”, with Rafael Jornet as principal researcher.