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Metal Age in Euskal Herria

Description of the three periods which compose it: Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
It is divided into three periods, for which the chronology would be as follows for the circum-Pyrenees environment:
  • Copper Age: 2500-2000 BC
  • Bronze Age: 2000-1000 BC
  • Iron Age: 1000-700 BC

The Metal Age is considered to be the transition between the Prehistory and the History ( Protohistory) which have some common characteristics:

  • Fortified population centres and/or places with difficult access took on great importance. Most of the sites related to this characteristic are concentrated in Araba, Nafarroa, and the Continental Basque Country (under another typology called “Gaztelu”). The most well-known one is La Hoya (Araba).
  • There is evidence of metallurgic activity of bronze and iron, but without abandoning agriculture, hunting, fishing and harvesting, and therefore, we can talk of a greater diversification of activities.
  • An antropisation of the landscape is produced due to the need for wood in metallurgy for the furnaces and the advance of agriculture.
  • An important new feature was the change in the funeral culture at the beginning of the Iron Age: complete incineration of bodies buried in necropolis of urns or fields of urns in population centres and cromlechs for the Pyrenees environment up to the river Leizarán. Changes which are surely directly related to the supply of population through the Ebro Valley.

The existence of Euskara was confirmed in this period.

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