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Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia

Phoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations

During the first millennium BCE, complex encounters of Phoenician and Greek colonists with natives of the Iberian Peninsula transformed the region and influenced the entire history of the Mediterranean.

One of the first books on these encounters to appear in English, this volume brings together a multinational group of contributors to explore ancient Iberia’s colonies and indigenous societies, as well as the comparative study of colonialism. These scholars—from a range of disciplines including classics, history, anthropology, and archaeology—address such topics as trade and consumption, changing urban landscapes, cultural transformations, and the ways in which these issues played out in the Greek and Phoenician imaginations. Situating ancient Iberia within Mediterranean colonial history and establishing a theoretical framework for approaching encounters between colonists and natives, these studies exemplify the new intellectual vistas opened by the engagement of colonial studies with Iberian history.

344 pages | 62 halftones, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2009

Ancient Studies


History: Ancient and Classical History


“Iberia was one of the major regions of the Iron Age Mediterranean, but it remains poorly known among English-language archaeologists, historians, and classicists. This book, providing superb case studies of everything from the literary sources to the botanical remains, will be required reading for many years to come.”

Ian Morris, Stanford University

Table of Contents

Ex Occidente Lux: A Preface

Michael Dietler and Carolina López-Ruiz

Part I          Theoretical Issues and Frameworks

1          Colonial Encounters in Iberia and the Western Mediterranean: An Exploratory Framework

            Michael Dietler

2          Colonial Relations and Social Change in Iberia (Seventh to Third Centuries BC)

            Joan Sanmartí

Part II        New Perspectives on Phoenician and Greek Ventures on the Mediterranean and Atlantic Coasts

3          Colonial Contacts and Protohistoric Indigenous Urbanism on the Mediterranean Coast of the Iberian Peninsula

            Maria Carme Belarte

4          Phoenician Colonization on the Atlantic Coast of the Iberian Peninsula

            Ana Margarida Arruda

5          Greeks and the Iberian Peninsula: Forms of Exchange and Settlements

            Pierre Rouillard

Part III       Plant Resources, Agrarian Practices, and the Colonial Political Economy

6          Botanical and Archaeological Dimensions of the Colonial Encounter

            Ramon Buxó

7          Lumbermen and Shipwrights: Phoenicians on the Mediterranean Coast of Southern Spain

            Brigitte Treumann

Part IV       The Question of Tartessos: A Debate Reframed

8          Phoenicians in Tartessos

            María Belén Deamos

9          Precolonization and Colonization in the Interior of Tartessos

            Sebastián Celestino Pérez

Part V        Interrogating Colonial Texts and Imagined Landscapes

10        Tarshish and Tartessos Revisited: Textual Problems and Historical Implications

            Carolina López-Ruiz

11        Iberia in the Greek Geographical Imagination

            Javier Gómez Espelosín

Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia: A Coda

Michael Dietler and Carolina López-Ruiz



List of Contributors


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