Around 4500 B.C. They began to emerge the first agricultural settlements, when immigrants from Europe bringing with them the knowledge of agriculture. In 3500 B.C. farming settlements existed in much of Britain. Were found clay pots dating back to 4100 B.C.
Around 2500 B.C. a new culture arrived in Britain, brought by Iberians. believed to originate in the Iberian Peninsula, these people brought to Britain the ability to manufacture weapons and metal tools. Initially using copper, but as of 2100 B.C. smiths had discovered how to make bronze by mixing copper and tin. Thanks to them the Bronze Age arrived in Britain. Over the next thousand years, bronze replaced the stone gradually, as the main material for making tools and weapons.
Britain had large reserves of tin in areas of Cornwall and Devon in southern England, and then began the extraction of tin.
The population of the Iberian was also skilled at making ornaments from gold production, and many examples of this production were found in their graves.
The Iberians buried their dead in stone mounds, often with a cup beside the body. They were also largely responsible for building many famous prehistoric sites, such as Stonehenge and several other stone circles.
Since 1500 B.C. about the power of the nations of the Iberians began to decline.
In around 750 BC.. the ironworking techniques reached Britain from southern Europe the Iron Age. The iron was stronger and more plentiful than bronze, and revolutionized many aspects of life. The most important was agriculture: the plow with the iron tip could work the land more quickly than older wooden or bronze, and iron axes could clear forests more efficiently.
History of the Iberians
The Iberian culture developed from the 6th century BC, and perhaps as early as the fifth to the third millennium BC in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula. The Iberians lived in villages and oppida (fortified settlements) and their communities were based on a tribal organization. The Iberians in the Spanish Levant, were more urbanized than their neighbors in the central and northwestern regions of the Iberian peninsula. The peoples in the central and northwest regions were mostly Celtic, semi-pastoral and lived in scattered villages, though they also had a few fortified towns like Numantia. They had a knowledge of writing, metalworking, including bronze, and agricultural techniques.
In the centuries preceding Carthaginian and Roman conquest, Iberian settlements grew in social complexity, exhibiting evidence of social stratification and urbanization. This process was probably aided by trading contacts with the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians.
The settlement of Castellet de Banyoles in Tivissa was one of the most important ancient Iberian settlements in Catalonia that was discovered in 1912. Also, the ‘Treasure of Tivissa’, a unique collection of silver Iberian votive offerings was found here in 1927.
Lucentum was another ancient Iberian settlement, as well as Castelldefels Castle.
Mausoleum of Pozo Moro near the town of Chinchilla de Monte-Aragón in Castile-La Mancha seems to mark the location of another big settlement.
Sagunto is the location of an ancient Iberian and later Roman city of Saguntum, where a big fortress was built in the 5th century BC.
Greek colonists made the first historical reference to the Iberians in the 6th century BC. They defined Iberians as non-Celtic peoples south of the Ebro river (Iber). The Greeks also dubbed as “Iberians” another people in the Caucasus region, currently known as Caucasian Iberians. It is not known if there had been any type of connection between the two peoples.
The Iberians traded extensively with other Mediterranean cultures. Iberian pottery and metalwork has been found in France, Italy, and North Africa. The Iberians had extensive contact with Greek colonists in the Spanish colonies of Emporion, Rhode, Zakynthos and Hemeroskopeion. The Iberians may have adopted some of the Greeks’ artistic techniques. Statues such as the Lady of Baza and the Lady of Elx are thought to have been made by Iberians relatively well acquainted with Greek art. Thucydides stated that one of the three original tribes of Sicily, the Sicani, were of Iberian origin, though “Iberian” at the time could have included what we think of as Gaul.
The Iberians also had contacts with the Phoenicians, who had established various colonies in southern Andalucia. Their first colony on the Iberian Peninsula was founded in 1100 BC and was originally called Gadir, later renamed by the Romans as Gades (modern Cádiz). Other Phoenician colonies in southern Iberia included Malaka (Málaga), Sexi and Abdera.
Iberian sculpture, a subset of Iberian art, describes the various sculptural styles developed by the Iberians from the Bronze age up to the Roman conquest. For this reason it is sometimes described as Pre-Roman Iberian sculpture.
Almost all extant works of Iberian sculpture visibly reflect Greek and Phoenician influences, and Assyrian, Hittite and Egyptian influences from which those derived; yet they have their own unique character. Within this complex stylistic heritage, individual works can be placed within a spectrum of influences- some of more obvious Phoenician derivation, and some so similar to Greek works that they could have been directly imported from that region. Overall the degree of influence is correlated to the work’s region of origin, and hence they are classified into groups on that basis.
The main sculptures we have from Iberians are divided in:
-Leventine Group (Lady of Elche)
-Southern Group (Lady of Baza)
-Western Group (funeral stelae from Portugal)
-Central Group (Bulls of Guisando)
Culture in England
In England there are many famous historical sites for their design and construction including the most famous Stonehedge:
There is debate about the age of the building, but most archaeologists believed to have been built between 2500 B.C. and 2000 B.C. The construction of the circular earth bank and ditch have been dated to 3100 B.C.
It is believed that Stonehenge is a kind of prehistoric astronomical observatory since the Stonehenge axis is oriented in the direction of the summer solstice sunrise, but not winter.
The larger stones, gneiss (weighing 25/50 tons), were cut from a distant hill 30 km from the archaeological site, probably to be transported through the slides slipping on wooden rollers, pull with leather ropes by dozens of men.
The size of stones in the lower part were extracted and cut in a site that is 3 km away and partly in other locations, including one in Wales at a distance of about 300 km.
The stones which formed the vertical elements were first drag in correspondence of a hole on the ground, then were made to slide into the hole with the aid of a lever system supported in a “castle” of logs. The stone was then placed vertically pulling it with ropes, and the hole was filled with stones.
Once the vertical stones, he was added the lintel raising it had been raised a little at a time through the construction of a plating timber and the use of levers.
There is a life-size replica of Stonehenge as it was originally, in Maryhill in Washington State, built by Sam Hill as a war memorial.
From the beginning of many of the fallen stones they were placed in their present position by Victorian engineers. According to recent studies the renovation works lasted until the seventies of the twentieth century, introducing substantial changes in the original provision.
Three kilometers away from Stonehenge it has been found by researchers at the National Geographic Society, a village dating back to 2600 B.C. It composed of about twenty-five small houses. It is believed that were used to accommodate the builders of the complex.
The greek writer Diodorus (first century B.C.) could refer to Stonehenge in a passage of his “Bibliotheca Historica”.