Discovered in 1935 and first excavated in 1973, the ancient city of La Hoya in the Basque Country of northern Spain was destroyed in a violent attack between 350 and 200 BCE.
The city was not developed again, and those who died in the attack remained where they had been until the city was excavated.
Hoping to find out more about the attack, a team of researchers from Oxford University and archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Spain studied 13 skeletons already recovered from the site in the first detailed analysis of human remains.
The dead included men, women and children. The lead author of the research, Teresa Fernandez-Crespo, said, “One male suffered multiple injuries, indicating that he was facing his attacker.” Won the trophy. ”
Another person was stabbed in the back, while the hands of a man and a woman were severed, the study said, published in the journal on Thursday.
But there is no evidence, researchers said, of those returning to the city to bury dead people or collect their belongings. Analysis of some skeletons revealed that they were left in burning buildings, while some were left where they fell on the streets.
“We can conclude that the purpose of the attackers was the total destruction of La Hoya,” the researchers said in a statement, adding that the attack may have been inspired by the location of La Hoya, which was strategically located between the Canterians of Spain’s Atlantic The region on the coast, the Mediterranean Sea and Spain’s interior plateau.
Experts believe that the settlement was the center of social, commercial and political activities.
Researchers said that Lo Hoya is the only Iron Age Iberian site whose destruction could be caused by local communities. The findings suggest that large-scale wars were probably already taking place in Spain during the Iron Age, he argued.
In particular, the attack on the settlement, protected by defensive walls, preceded the arrival of the Romanians – who are often blamed for the escalating conflict in the area.
Fernandez-Crespo said, “The new analysis of human skeletons from La Hoya reminds us very strongly that the prehistoric past was not always a peaceful place, which was sometimes built.”