Tartessos was a rich ancient Iberian society that existed between the ninth and fifth centuries before the present and is buried in myth and mystery. However, technology and archaeological digs are revealing new details about the civilization.

It has been challenging for modern historians and archaeologists to figure out what Tartessos actually was, despite the fact that Tartessos has been mentioned in Greek and Roman documents for thousands of years. Was it a river, a city, or a kingdom? It is now widely believed that Tartessos was a civilization in the Iberian Peninsula that originated from the fusion of native populations with Greek and Phoenician conquerors. Its huge metal resources and flourishing commercial sector also contributed to its wealth. Early discoveries suggested that the Tartessos civilization was concentrated in and around the Guadalquivir Valley in Andaluca, but more recent finds in the Guadiana Valley, further to the west and close to Portugal’s border with Spain, have caused archaeologists to reevaluate how widespread the Tartessos civilization actually was.

Despite the significance of knowing why the society vanished, the majority of present-day studies concentrate on the social and cultural effects of the Tartessos. Sebastián Celestino Pérez, a scientific investigator at the Institute of Archaeology in Merida, said that “the so-called Tartessian tombs of the Guadiana seem to have the key to know this culture better.”