Saturday, January 30, 2010

Traces of Tartessian Capital May Be Found

Artist's conception of Tartessian capital in southern Spain.

A team of researchers are examining a marshy area of Spain’s Andalusian parkland to find evidence of 3,000-year-old Tartessos ~ a wealthy civilization in southern Iberia that predates the Phoenicians ~ that may have had its capital in the heart of what is now the Donana national park.

Until now historians had dismissed the region as a possible site believing that it had been submerged since the ice age. But new evidence suggests the waters may have receded in time for the Tartessians to build an urban centre, which was later destroyed in a tsunami.

The Tartessian civilization, which developed in southern Spain between the 11th and 7th centuries BC and became rich trading gold and silver from local mines, has long been linked by mythologists to the Atlantis legend.

Archaeological findings have already proved the existence of Tartessian culture at sites on the opposite bank of the Guadalquiver River.

"If they existed on the other side, they must also have been here (in Donana)," Sebastian Celestino, the archaeologist leading the project told the newspaper El Pais. "There were earthquakes and one of them caused a tsunami that razed everything and which coincided with the era in which Tartessian power was at its height."

Click here for the London Telegraph article.

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