Emergent Causations of Centrality and Monumentality in Southern Iberian Settlement Agglomerations during the 3rd Millenium

Schlicht, Jan-Erik; Hinz, Martin (6 September 2018). Emergent Causations of Centrality and Monumentality in Southern Iberian Settlement Agglomerations during the 3rd Millenium (Unpublished). In: 24th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. Barcelona. 5.-8. September 2018.

The Copper Age of the Iberian Peninsula is characterised by the increasing complexity of social configurations. This is reflected in
the domain of domestic and funeral architecture in marked changes of the intrasite, but also in the overarching structure (agglomer-
ation), and in the occurrence (and decline) of megalithic components.
Discussing social organization of chalcolithic groups of the area, issues of centrality and the integration of enclosures and me-
ga-sites into supraregional networks are crucial, as well as their “monumentality” as built elements modifying the natural space.
Contrary to other European territories, at the turn of the 4th to the 3rd century BCE, an increase of so-called enclosures of different
characters can be observed in southwestern Iberia. We observe the formation of sites with stone fortifications (e.g. Zambujal or
Leceia), but also the appearance of various types of ditched enclosures, whose functions have been characterized from settlement
boundaries to ritual activities. During the 3rd millenium, we also observe the formation of so-called mega-sites, especially Valencina
de la Concepción, which currently can hardly be characterised as an enclosure.
We interpret these processes as emergent causations, as a field of application for pragmatic theory and archaeological cultural
geography. Certain centralization tendencies following the coexistence of larger groups increase the probability for other central-
ization processes, shaping the trajectories of social groups and their complexity in a self-reinforcing feedback in the long term.
Consequently, we ask whether observations can be linked to social change. Individual sites are compared in function and duration,
their topographical location and materiality in order to identify emergent patterns.
Through the spatial and material analysis of the sites, we expect insights into the character of chalcolithic societies in southwestern
Iberia and those structures which ultimately led to the collapse of the chalcolithic system in the transition to the Bronze Age.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Hinz, Martin


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Martin Hinz

Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2019 12:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:27



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