Arts

Tartessos: a kingdom of legend

Tartessos: a kingdom of legend
Ignacio Zara

By IZara

gold chandeliers

gold chandeliers

The Greek historian Herodotus told that in the 6th century BP, a Greek ship was sent beyond the Heracles columns (current Cadiz in the South of Spain) due to a storm. However, the disaster turned into a success when the sailors met a prosperous and brilliant civilization: Tartessos.

The Greek sailors became friends with Argantonios, a king who ruled more than a century and who gave them gold enough to build a wall in Greece so strong as to protect Greek borders from Persians (their traditional enemies). Furthermore, Argantonios created in Tartessos a district, near the sea, where Greek traders could sell their pottery and sculptures in exchange for olive oil and metals.

Tartessos, place of endless wealth (silver, copper, tin), is still almost unknown. The Bible speaks about Tartessos too and even Plato, but always with little concrete data. Then, during centuries we believe this ‘Dorado’ was a legend (as Troy). Plato confuses it with the land of Atlantis and some others situated it in the Canarias islands (no archaeological proofs)… But what happen when we started to find priceless treasures along the Guadalquivir River? Carambolo, Lebrija, Huelva…

The same as Troy has been found thanks to Schliemann’s dreams (1822-1890), we are in the point of identifying Tartessos and Argantonio. The most probably is that Tartessos was not a town but a big area in the South of Spain and Argantonios,

Carambolo treasure

Carambolo treasure

not an immortal man but the title (not the name) of the king of Tartessos.

Sometimes we need to listen to the old pieces made by forgotten crafters. Only intuition can overcome the destruction of time.

Enjoy these pieces!

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Arts
Ignacio Zara

Assistant Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine

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