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Trading agreements and treaties allowed the         In 1958 a hoard of gold was found in Camas, three
        civilisations, for most of the time, to co-exist in peace   kilometres north west of Seville, it is known as the
        and they even demonstrated a willingness to help each   Carambolo hoard. Some claim that it proves the
        other out if one happened to be afflicted by famine or   magnificence of the Tartessian civilisation while others
        other adversity. In the event of a dispute and conflict   see it as having its roots in the east due to the statue of
        between two or more civilisations, the channels were in   the goddess Astarte found among the trinkets. You can
        place to allow a resolution of the dispute and restoration   decide for yourself when you see the display.
        of peace.                                           Among the artefacts, you will see ceramics purportedly
        Between about 1250 BC and 1100 BC, a series of      from Tartessian sources between 700 and 500 BC. The
        disasters occurred in the eastern Mediterranean and the   items could as equally be copies by Tartessian
        Middle East including climate change bringing about   craftsmen, manufactured by resident craftsmen brought
        crop failures and famine, earthquakes, migrations of   by the traders or made in Lebanon.
        people trying to move to more favourable areas, internal   The historian Herodotus is the first to mention Tartessos
        rebellions and depredation caused by predatory      in the first millennium BC. It was, according to Herodotus
        outsiders. As a result, the socio-economic systems   and later Roman historians, a harbour city with a
        dissolved. As the dispersed and disparate groups began   surrounding civilisation situated beyond the Pillars of
        to re-organise themselves, they had to look elsewhere   Hercules. There are indications that the city flooded
        for the essential materials they lacked.            around the end of the first millennium.
        Enter the eastern Mediterranean trader. Often called   More excitingly, 95 inscriptions have been found in a
        Phoenicians they were more likely, in the early days at   language identified as Tartessian. The Phoenicians
        least, a group of itinerant traders of many nationalities,   introduced the written language to the western world,
        who found themselves with no fixed base, desperately   about 825 BC, the Tartessian language is a close
        trying to earn a living in an uncertain world that was now   relative. The Tartessian scripts were found in late Bronze
        foreign to them. Since trade with lands to the north,   and early Iron Age burial sites dated to the 7th Century
        south and east of them was difficult, they turned west   BC in southern Portugal, Extremadura and western
        and found the Tartessians. The traders brought with   Andalucia.
        them objects from their lands, ceramics, glassware, ivory   The Tartessians were not the first or last people to find
        and semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli. Over time   the area attractive. Being on the Rio Guadalquivir Seville
        they brought wives and families, fashions, food plants   has always, since prehistoric times, been a magnet for
        and expertise in other fields such as pottery making and   humans. Seville Museum has a good and varied range of
        architecture. All things                            exhibits from the Early Stone Age through the metal
        embraced by the                                     ages.
        Tartessians. The
        traders took                                                                             Page 39: Melqart
        copper, tin, silver,                                                           Page 40: The Carambolo Hoard
        lead, grain and                                                            Below: Tartessian bronze jar found at
        manufactured                                                                 Espartinas, 10 kms west of Seville
        goods such as
        wine, olive oil and
        preserved fish
        back to the newly
        re-emerging powers
        in the East.

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