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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Research project: Late Bronze Age Warrior stelae project

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This project, conducted by Dr David Wheatley (Southampton), Dr Leo Garcia Sanjuan (University of Seville) and Dr Marta Diaz Guardamino-Uribe (CSIC) is studying the spatial patterning and archaeological contexts of the ‘South western' group of late bronze age carved stelae from Iberia.

There are a diverse group of carved stone stelae and statue-menhirs with a range of carved motifs (including human figures, weapons, personal objects and chariots) that appear to date from the Late Bronze Age, but which have traditionally been studied as objects with little or no archaeological context. Although they do occur in unstratified contexts, this does not mean they are without any context, and this project is attempting through a combination of GIS-based spatial analysis, fieldwork, oral testimony and novel recording methods to establish the spatial distribution and other associations of these complex objects. Ultimately, it hopes to shed light on the ideology and mythology of the late Bronze Age in Iberia and explain the complex relationship between the ‘warrior' ideology represented in many parts of Europe at this time and wider Bronze Age society.

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