The radiocarbon chronology of tholos-type megalithic tombs in Iberia: exploring diverse social trajectories

Aranda Jimenez, Gonzalo; Milesi Garcia, Lara; Diaz-Zorita Bonilla, Marta; Sanchez Romero, Margarita

VL / 78 - BP / 277 - EP / 291
Thanks to recent radiocarbon dating developments, there is now a robust and reliable radiocarbon series for exploring one of the most characteristic kinds of megalithic monument in Iberia, the tholos-type tomb. The new series of 193 dates has been taken from 42 monuments spread across the south of Spain and central and southern Portugal. This chronological series has been analysed using statistical models and spatial analytical tools. The results have led us to four main conclusions: i) the tholos-type tombs appeared for the first time in southeastern Iberia around the 32nd century cal BC as an independent development; ii) from that region they progressively spread out to reach their maximum expansion in the 29th century cal BC; iii) Tholoi also differ regionally in their periods of use: long periods of mortuary activity in the southeast versus short periods in the southwest; and iv) from 2200 cal BC onwards funerary rituals were restricted to occasional reuse practices except in the southeast where two pulses of mortuary activity can be found in the 19th and 14th centuries cal BC. This regional variability indicates that there were different social trajectories in the two main focuses of tholos-type tombs, southeastern and southwestern Iberia.

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