The Macro-Regional Scale of Silver Production in Iberia During the First Millennium BC in the Context of Mediterranean Contacts
Fecha de publicación2016
Montero Ruiz, Ignacio
Hunt Ortiz, Mark A.
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The extraction of silver has traditionally been considered as one of the main incentives for the Phoenician expansion throughout the Mediterranean and their settlement in Iberia. In this paper, we approach the organization of silver production in Iberia during the Early Iron Age through the study
of the evidence of production currently available and the development of Lead Isotope Analysis (LIA). Previous results (Hunt 2003; Stos Gale 2001; Kassianidou 1992) are considered in the light of new data. The extraction of silver from complex minerals noticeably intensifies in south-west Iberia. Imports of exogenous lead, needed for the extraction of silver from these complex minerals, are evident. Supplies of lead come in from other regions of Iberia, such as Gádor, Cartagena/Mazarrón, Linares or even the mining district of Molar-Belmunt-Falset (MBF) in Catalonia. This picture reveals that the organization of silver production was much more complex than initially thought, with the articulation of an exchange network of raw materials at a macro-territorial scale embracing almost all Iberia. The socioeconomic implications that control of these networks of lead distribution could have had are also discussed.