Sun Sep 30, 2012, 06:15 AM
xchrom (105,667 posts)
La Bastida Unearths 4,200-Year-Old Fortification, Unique in Continental Europe
Frontal view of the fortification, with several of the walls and five of the towers visible. (Credit: Image by ASOME-UAB)
ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2012) — The archaeological excavations carried out this year at the site of La Bastida (Totana, Murcia) have shed light on an imposing fortification system, unique for its time. The discovery, together with all other discoveries made in recent years, reaffirm that the city was the most advanced settlement in Europe in political and military terms during the Bronze Age (ca. 4,200 years ago -- 2,200 BCE), and is comparable only to the Minoan civilisation of Crete.
The discovery was presented today by Pedro Alberto Cruz Sánchez, Secretary of Culture of the Region of Murcia and Vicente Lull, professor of Prehistory of the Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona (UAB) and director of the excavation. The event also included the presence of Iván Martínez Flores, executive administrator of the research and head of the UAB Area for Strategic Projects.
The fortification consisted of a wall measuring two to three metres thick, built with large stones and lime mortar and supported by thick pyramid-based towers located at short distances of some four metres. The original height of the defensive wall was approximately 6 or 7 metres. Until now six towers have been discovered along a length of 70 metres, although the full perimeter of the fortification measured up to 300 metres. The entrance to the enclosure was a passageway constructed with strong walls and large doors at the end, held shut with thick wooden beams.
One of the most relevant architectural elements discovered is the ogival arched postern gate, or secondary door, located near the main entrance. The arch is in very good conditions and is the first one to be found in Prehistoric Europe. Precedents can be found in the second city of Troy (Turkey) and in the urban world of the Middle East (Palestine, Israel and Jordan), influenced by the civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. This indicates that people from the East participated in the construction of the fortification. These people would have reached La Bastida after the crisis which devastated their region 4,300 years ago. It was not until some 400 to 800 years later that civilisations like the Hittites and Mycenaeans, or city-states such as Ugarit, incorporated these innovative methods into their military architecture.
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La Bastida Unearths 4,200-Year-Old Fortification, Unique in Continental Europe (Original post)
|Judi Lynn||Oct 2012||#1|