Advertisement

Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 853–870 | Cite as

Selective use of limestone in Iberian Iron Age sculptures and monuments: a case study from Jutia (Albacete, Spain)

  • Rafael FortEmail author
  • Teresa Chapa
  • Susana González Reyero
Original Paper
  • 216 Downloads

Abstract

The Iron Age societies of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, like their Greek and Etruscan counterparts, used stone sculptures to decorate their sanctuaries and cemeteries. Limestone was the raw material used. While abundant throughout the region, it was not always of sufficient quality to implement the iconographic projects at hand. This paper describes a study of Jutia monument (fourth to second centuries BCE), an architectural structure supporting a number of zoomorphic sculptures. Located at a distance from any major city of the time, the sculptor’s workshop had to select the best materials in the surrounds. The present study aims to establish the origin of the limestone used and ascertain how decisions were made and collective work invested to build this monument. A geological study of the possible areas of origin is supplemented with the petrological characterisation of the respective outcropped materials and the archaeological elements recovered. Colour parameters, ultrasound pulse velocity (UPV) and limestone hardness and geochemical composition, the latter using a handheld XRF instrument, are also determined. The findings reveal that the figures were sculpted from Upper Miocene calcarenite or sandy limestones quarried at around 3 km from the site. In contrast, other parts of the building were erected with bioclastic limestone from the immediate surrounds, at just 200 m from the monument.

Keywords

Iberian stone sculpture Iron Age Quarry survey Petrology Ultrasound Hardness Origin pXRF 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Albacete Museum, the Municipal Government of Nerpio and Yeste and the History Institute’s R&D laboratories (CCHS, Spanish National Research Council) for the support provided throughout this study.

Manuscript edited by Margaret Clark, professional translator and English language science editor.

Funding information

This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness under projects HAR2012-35208 and HAR2015-67355-P; the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha under project 15.0904; and the Regional Government of Madrid in the framework of the GEOMATERIALS-2CM [S2013/MIT-2914] programme. The senior author is a member of the ‘Applied Petrology for Heritage Conservation’ research team [ref. 921349]. The analyses were conducted at the Institute of Geoscience’s petrophysical laboratory.

References

  1. Aoki H, Matsukura Y (2007) A new technique for non-destructive field measurement of rock-surface strength: an application of the Equotip hardness tester to weathering studies. Earth Surf Process Landf 32(12):1759–1769.  https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.1492 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belén Deamos M, Chapa Brunet T, Vázquez C, Fort R (2009) The first evidence of a Tartessian stone sculpture: a fragmentary cult image from Carmona (Seville, Spain), in: Leukos Lithos. Marbres et Autres Roches de la Méditerranée Antique: Études Interdisciplinaires. Actes ASMOSIA VIII. 8 th International Conference, (Aix-en-Provence12–18 juin 2006), Karthala, Paris, pp 243–254Google Scholar
  3. Boardman J (1994) The diffusion of classical art in antiquity. London. 352 pages. ISBN 13: 9780500236963Google Scholar
  4. Brennan ML, King EM, Shaw LC, Walling SL Jr (2013) Preliminary geochemical assessment of limestone resources. J Archaeol Sci 40(8):3178–3192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carò F, Douglas JG (2013) Nature and provenance of the sandstone used for Bayon style sculptures produced during the reign of Jayavarman VII. J Archaeol Sci 40:723e734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapa T 2008–2009. Esculturas ibéricas de El Álamo-Jutia (Yeste-Nerpio, Albacete. In: Shattner T, Rovira Llorens S (Eds), Homenaje al Dr. Michael Blech. Boletín de la Asociación Española de Amigos de la Arqueología 45, Madrid, pp 79–92Google Scholar
  7. CIE, Commision Internacionale de lÉclarage (2004) Colorimetry, 15, publication, 3rd edn. CIE, WienGoogle Scholar
  8. Criado Boado F (1997) Introduction. Combining the different dimensions of landscape. It’s a total landscape archaeology possible? In: Criado F, Parcero C (eds) Landscape, Archaeology, Heritage. TAPA 2. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, pp 5–10Google Scholar
  9. de Winter NJ, Sinnesael M, Makarona C, Vansteenberge S, Claeys P (2017) Trace element analyses of carbonates using portable and micro-X-ray fluorescence: performance and optimization of measurement parameters and strategies. J Anal At Spectrom 32(6):1211–1223.  https://doi.org/10.1039/C6JA00361C CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gagnaison C, Montenat C, Barrier P, Rouillard P (2007) L’environnement du site ibérique de La Alcudia et les carrières antiques de la Dame d’Elche (Province d’Alicante, Espagne). ArcheoSci Revue d'archéométrie 31:59–78Google Scholar
  11. Gener M, Romero D, González S, García J (2016) Estudio metalúrgico de las armas ibéricas halladas en el valle de Jutia (Nerpio-Yeste, Albacete). Trabajo, armamento, ritual y comunidades de montaña. Gladius 36:7–31.  https://doi.org/10.3989/gladius.2016.0001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gómez-Heras M, Fort R (2004) Location of quarries of non-traditional stony materials in the architecture of Madrid: the crypt of the Cathedral of Santa María la real de la Almudena. Mater Constr 54(274):33–49.  https://doi.org/10.3989/mc.2004.v54.i274.231 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. González Reyero S (2013) Documentación y estudio del poblamiento ibérico en la cuenca alta del río Segura (Albacete), unpublished report. Junta de Castilla-la Mancha, ToledoGoogle Scholar
  14. González Reyero S, Chapa Brunet T, Sánchez-Palencia FJ, García Cardiel J, (2016) Las comunidades iberas en paisajes de montaña. El caso de la Cuenca Alta del río Segura. En Blanca Gamo Parras y Rubí Sanz Gamo (coord): Actas de la I Reunión Científica de Albacete. Instituto de Estudios Albacetenses “Don Juan Manuel”. Excma. Diputación de Albacete. Albacete, pp 383-398Google Scholar
  15. Guydader J, Denis A (1986) Propagation des ondes dans les roches anisotropes sous contrainte évaluation de la qualité des schistes ardoisiers. Bull Eng Geol 33:49–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayes K (2013) Parameters in the use of pXRF for archaeological site prospection: acase study at the Reaume Fort site, Central Minnesota. J Archaeol Sci 40:3193e3211Google Scholar
  17. Horden P, Purcell N (2000) The corrupting sea. A study of Mediterranean history. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 776 pages. ISBN: 978-0-631-21890-6Google Scholar
  18. IGME (1979) Mapa Geológico de España 1:50.000. Yetas de Abajo (23–35). Ministerio de Industría y Energía. 68 pp. ISSN: 073–2096Google Scholar
  19. León P (1998) La sculpture des Ibères. Collection Histoire Ancienne et Anthropologie. Harmattan, París. 109 pages. ISBN: 2-7384-7240-0Google Scholar
  20. Ogburn D, Sillar B, Sierra JC (2013) Evaluating effects of chemical weathering and surface contamination on the in situ provenance analysis of building stones in the Cuzco region of Peru with portable XRF. J Archaeol Sci 40:1823e1837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Olmos R, Rouillard P (2002) Sculpture préromaine de la Péninsule Ibèrique. Documents d’Archéologie Méridionale 25:269-283Google Scholar
  22. Quye-Sawyer J, Vandeginste V, Johnston KJ (2015) Application of handheld energy-dispersive X-ray fuorescence spectrometry to carbonate studies: opportunities and challenges. J Anal At Spectrom 30(7):1490–1499.  https://doi.org/10.1039/C5JA00114E CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ruiz A, Molinos M (1993) Los iberos. Análisis arqueológico de un proceso histórico. Ed. Crítica. Barcelona. 336 pages. ISBN 9788474235661Google Scholar
  24. Tilley C (1999) Metaphor and material culture. Blackwell, Oxford 320 pagesGoogle Scholar
  25. Tilley C (2004) The materiality of stone. Explorations in Landscape Phenomenology. Berg. Oxford, New York 264 pagesGoogle Scholar
  26. Tripati S, Mudholkar AV, Vora KH, Rao BR, Gaur AS, Sundaresh (2010) Geochemical and mineralogical analysis of stone anchors from west coast of India: provenance study using thin sections, XRF and SEM-EDS. J Archaeol Sci 37(8):1999–2009.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2010.03.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vavro M, Gajda J, Prĭkryl R, Siegl P (2015) Soapstone as a locally used and limited sculptural material in remote area of Northern Moravia (Czech Republic). Environ Earth Sci 73(8):4557–4571.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-014-3742-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Viles H, Goudie A, Grab S (2011) The use of the Schmidt Hammer and Equotip for rock hardness assessment in geomorphology and heritage science: a comparative analysis. Earth Surf Process Landf 36(3):320–333.  https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.2040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Williams M, Wilkinson I, Taylor J, Whitbread I, Stamp R, Boomer I, Yates E, Stocke C (2015) Microfossil-determined provenance of clay building materials at Burrough Hill Iron Age hill fort, Leicestershire, England. J Archaeol Sci 54:329e339CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC,UCM)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Prehistoria, C.A.I. de Arqueometría y Análisis Arqueológico, UCMMadridSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Historia (CCHS-CSIC)MadridSpain

Personalised recommendations