Casa Rueda EN IV

1) THE ORETHANES (VI-I centuries B. C.)


The gradual arrival of Phoenician and Greek traditions and peoples to the Iberian peninsula during the first millennium B. C. forged a mosaic of indigenous populations, a mixture of earlier substrates and influences from the Eastern Mediterranean. From the sixth century B. C., the character of the Iberian and Celtic peoples, increasingly hierarchical and belligerent, was accentuated in the context of the Carthaginian and Roman expansions. Among other elements, the following are introduced: cremation of the corpse , iron metallurgy; the potter’s lathe; the hen and the donkey; standards of measurement, aesthetics and prestigious objects deeply rooted in the Mediterranean tradition.

The Iberian territories on both sides of Sierra Morena will be called Oretania,  with cities such as Cástulo (near Linares, Jaén), Libisosa (Lezuza) or the hill of the Cabezas de Valdepeñas. Other known relevant nuclei will be Labini-Laminium (Alhambra), Mentesa Oretana (Villanueva de la Fuente), Cabeza del Buey or  Alcubillas. In Villanueva de los Infantes, although we do not have any  knowledge  of fortified cities, there is an occupation around the rivers, like farms or small villages.



«65 villages come to Cartagena, apart from the inhabitants of the islands: (. . . ); those of Castulo of ancient Latin law, also called Caesarii Iuvenales; (. . . ) Of the tributaries, the best known are (. . . ) the Laminitans, the Mentesans nicknamed Orethans, the Mentesans nicknamed Bástulos and the Orethans who are also called Germans; those of Segóbriga, capital of Celtiberia (. . . )»
Pliny the Elder, Natural History III, 25 (1st century A. D. )

«(. . . ) The most powerful cities of Oretania are Castalon [Castulo] and Oria [Oretum]»
Strabo, Geography III, 2, 2 (1st century A. D. )