Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 4755–4767 | Cite as

Revisiting the chronology of the Early Iron Age in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula

  • Miriam Gómez-PaccardEmail author
  • Mercedes Rivero-Montero
  • Annick Chauvin
  • David García i Rubert
  • Alicia Palencia-Ortas
Original Paper


The chronology of the Late Bronze Age and the earliest stages of the Iron Age in the Mediterranean is an important topic of debate since the study of both local social dynamics and trade and colonial activity around the Mediterranean requires obviously well-established chronological frameworks. However, the exact chronology of the Early Iron Age in the Mediterranean region is still a problematic issue today since different, and in some cases unbalanced, sources of information (historical texts, material culture sequences, and radiocarbon dating results) are used. The NE Iberian Peninsula is not an exception and different time periods are proposed in the literature for the Early Iron Age. Here, and in order to provide a new and an independent input to feed this debate, we apply the archeomagnetic dating method to four archeological hearths from the Sant Jaume Complex, a set of several Early Iron Age archeological sites located in the north-eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The archeomagnetic dating results suggest that the abandonment of the studied structures (that can be linked to the abandonment of the archeological sites) most probably occurred before 650 BC, and therefore invalidate the age commonly ascribed to the Early Iron Age sites in this area. Our study provides, hence, new evidences that the traditional view of human settlement development in the NE Iberian Peninsula should be revisited.


Archeomagnetic dating Geomagnetic field changes Early Iron Age Iberian Peninsula 



We warmly thank P. Roperch (Géosciences-Rennes) for sharing data treatment facilities. We also thank A. Molina-Cardín and E. Delso for their help with field and laboratory work. AC is also grateful to LP´s music.

Funding information

This project was supported by the CGL2015-63888-R (MINECO/FEDER) project and by the Ramón y Cajal program (MGP) of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Financial support was also given by the PICS International Program for Scientific Cooperation (CNRS-France and CSIC-Spain).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geosciences IGEO (CSIC-UCM)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Univ Rennes, CNRSGéosciences-Rennes-UMR 6118RennesFrance
  3. 3.Secció de Prehistòria i ArqueologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Facultad de CC. FísicasUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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