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The Hidden Faces of Tartessus: Unveiling the Mystery of Spain's Enigmatic Civilization

Madrid, Spain-The millennium-long mystery of the Iberian people who were so set on wiping every trace of their civilization down, to the point that they burned their own culture to the ground, might be unveiled in our lifetime.



Southwest Spain's Tartessus is a historic location along the Guadalquivir River, most notably associated with the Tarshish. It flourished from trade with the Phoenicians and Carthaginians but later on, was destroyed by the latter. The exact site of the town is unknown, though evidence suggests that it lays somewhere near the modern city of Seville.


The Tartessians were known for their expertise in metalworking. In the 4th century B.C.E., the Greek historian Ephorus described them as such: "a very prosperous market called Tartessos, with much tin carried by river, as well as gold and copper from Celtic lands"


Just over a week ago, a group of archeologists from Spain unearthed five life-size busts of human figures dating back to the 5th century B.C.E. These statuettes, which are the first-known human depictions of this cryptic civilization, were hidden inside a sealed pit in a temple at Casas del Turuñuelo, an ancient Tartessian site in southern Spain. According to a statement issued by the CSIC on April 18, the fragments were dispersed among animal bones, especially from horses, indicating that they had resulted from a mass sacrifice.


Two of the relics are nearly finished, and they appear to show female divinities wearing earrings, which may be a reference to the Bronze Age peoples' mastery of goldsmithing

As stated by the CSIC, archeologists could only discover segments of the other three reliefs but were able to identify one as a warrior wearing a helmet.


This discovery is significant since the Tartessian society was long regarded as an aniconic culture in which deity was portrayed through animal or plant symbols, rather than worshipped humans.


The discovery of these busts has caused a lot of commotion in the archaeological community, with many hoping that it paves the way to more secrets about the Tartessians being unraveled.

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