Review Article

Revolutionary discoveries from Bronze Age Iberia: recent work on the Argaric world

Antonio Blanco-González

Books reviewed

Vicente Lull, Rafael Micó, Cristina Rihuete Herrada & Roberto Risch. Primeras investigaciones en La Bastida (1869–2005) (Arqueología Argárica. Proyecto Bastida 1). 275 pages, 95 b&w and colour illustrations, 20 tables, CD (with 1318 additional pages). 2015. Murcia: Integral; 978-84-608-4010-7 hardback.
Vicente Lull, Rafael Micó, Cristina Rihuete Herrada & Roberto Risch. La Bastida y Tira del Lienzo (Totana, Murcia) (Ruta Argárica. Guías Arqueológicas 1). 239 pages, numerous colour illustrations. 2015. Murcia: Integral; 978-84-608-4012-1 paperback.
Vicente Lull, Rafael Micó, Cristina Rihuete Herrada, Roberto Risch, Eva Celdrán Beltrán, María Inés Fregeiro Morador, Camila Oliart Caravatti & Carlos Velasco Felipe. La Almoloya (Pliego, Murcia) (Ruta Argárica. Guías Arqueológicas 2). 143 pages, numerous colour illustrations. 2015. Murcia: Integral; 978-84-608-4013-8 paperback.


In the Mediterranean region there are relatively few integrated, specialist research teams enga- ged in long-term and ongoing field- work. One of these rare and productive scientific collaborations is the ASOME (Arqueoecología Social Mediterránea, or Mediterranean Social Archaeoecology) group from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. The three volumes under review are authored by this team's lead researchers, and represent the first book-length publications from a long-term research project (2009–) on the Earlier Bronze Age El Argar culture (2200–1550 BC). They report the results of several excavations in the province of Murcia, Spain, supported by a combination of public and private funding. This ambitious initiative addresses ground-breaking research questions and offers solid and sustainable solutions for the conservation and preservation of these formerly neglected sites. Its aims, as summarised on the project's website, are: to create a systematic archive of information on the dispersed collections from earlier investigations; to undertake large-scale fieldwork on a series of key sites and to develop their public presentation; and to lay the foundations for an interdisciplinary research centre on prehistoric and Mediterranean archaeology (


  • Antonio Blanco-González
    Department of Prehistory, University of Salamanca, C/ Cervantes s/n 37002, Salamanca, Spain (Email: ablancoglez [at]