Tarifa History: Prehistory
Tarifa History bears witness to cave-art.
La Cueva del Moro
La Cueva del Moro is in The Parque Natural del Estrecho. It is protected as a Reserva de la Biosfera Transcontinental del Mediterraneo.
In 1995, Lothar Bergmann, (member of Baelo Claudio), examined five caves of the Cueva del Moro, in the Sierra de la Plata, where he found Soultrean rock art engravings, dating from Upper (Eastern) Paloelithic. The carvings are mostly of horse-figures.
Bronze Age Findings
This area is very rich in archaelogical remains.
Fifty metres behind the Camping Palomas, Tarifa, a Bronze Age Cemetery has been unearthed: El Necropolis del Algarbe. The site spans over two hectares.
New Settlers of the Gibraltar Straits
One sea-faring, Semitic speaking, civilization were the Phoenicians.
They travelled, guided by the stars, in small wooden hippoi-headed, man-powered galleys, reaching the Straits of Gibraltar, in
The Phoenician Star
The North Star (better known in Ancient World as The Phoenician Star), guided them in their navigation. These explorers were The Phoenicians
, their presence founded the Andalucian Iron Age.
: were representations of the immortal horses of the Gods – there at least twenty-one Deities known to this particular nation.
The God Baal and Goddess Astarte were their most significant.
These divine 'horses heads' were fixed at a height - either end of the ship - served for protection.
Phoenician Ship Deities were most probably: Poseidon and Neptune.
The Phoencians were exceptional seafarers and expert traders. They were the first civilization to colonize new areas,by means of trading, not
by using military force. Phoenician culture enriched these settlement areas.
They were not Agriculturists
Agriculture was not their forte. When they landed in Spain there was not much arable land - except for the area near the Guadalquivir valley. They stopped frequently for fresh water supplies and often created strongholds no further than a day's sailing distance.
Local Fishing Was Excellent
It was the Phoenicians, who started the manufacturing of Garum: a fermented fish sauce, considered a delicacy. They initiated the fish factories of Baelo Claudio, which later, the Romans took-over.
Fish-salting was also a prime industry of the Phoenician/ Andalucian area.
Explorers from The Fertile Cresecent, always carried seeds with them. The Phoenicians did. They often planted crops to harvest in the Spring. Phoenician crops were: Barley, oats, wheat and beans.
They also brought the olive tree, and the almond tree. The donkey, the hen, sheep and the potter's wheel.
Pottery was taught. It was necessary for exporting liquid goods back to Phoenicia i.e. olive oil and wine in amphorae.
Phoenicians were experts in Apiculture (the Romans in 146 BC, systematically destroyed all Phoenician books in Carthage, except, for their agricultural and apicultural books). - Vejer de la Frontera, was previously known as: Vejer de la Miel. (Miel: honey) One cannot help but wonder...whether that name originated. from the al-Andalus period or from the Phoenician era? Modern Andalucia is a leader in apiculture.
They also imparted their viticulture knowledge and once settled, they initiated the first steps of the Sherry Wine industry of the Iberian peninsula.
Thus The Phoenicians established Gades, Cadiz in 1110 BC. They called it Gadir: a walled stronghold. The city - and monuments - (in ancient times) were situated on on three small islands. Cadiz commanded the exit of the Straits and the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean.
Cadiz has the Sui Generis title, it is "The Most Ancient City in Europe."
The Phoenicians heard rumours about an enormous quantity of silver and some gold, in the Rio Tinto mines of Huelva. When they arrived to Spain, the rumour was proven, correct.
They encountered the Tartessians: Celtiberians. The Tartessians had settled in the Southern-half of Spain. Unless one travelled on a boat, crossing Spain, was difficult because of the vast differences of Spain's geology.
The Phoenicians traded with the Tartessians. Priceless metals of silver and gold were exhanged for trinket jewellery. Phoenician peaceful colonization thus began. The Tartessians greatly increased their wealth as mutual knowledge was shared.
There were records of the Phoenicians trying to encircle the Tartessian areas - but it never amounted to a serious effect. Cadiz's surrounding wall was financed by the Tartessians. One must assume that within the two civilizations, relationships endured and were mostly of a friendly nature.
Other Phoencian settlements were created along principal Andalucian rivers. Trading increased the local populations around the mining area. The mythical habour city of Tartessos area was probably situated at the estuary of the Guadalquivir valley.
The MisUse of Two Historic Symbols
Two historic symbols, surpassed as a convenient refraining-point, (for other exploring nations). They were
the Pillars of Hercules.
The “Phoenician Lie” surpassed anything re: the Significance of the Nec (or Non) Plus Ultra which was inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules.
Nec Plus Ultra/ Non Plus Ultra: Nothing Further Beyond
The Phoenicians told the Biggest Ancient History Whopper
In order to protect the lucrative tin route with the British, and their inland silver and gold routes, they spread rumours... The Straits lead to the 'Edge of the Known World.' Grecian geography was very hazy of any area past the Straights of Gibraltar, for this very reason.
Beyond The Straights, ships and their crews, were engulfed by huge sea monsters, hidden in the depths of the dark and boiling, furious Atlantic.
The Phoenicians travelled the Atlantic and created further trading settlements on the North African coasts.
Carthage, was another important Phoenician settlement, established 814 BC, Tunisia.
The Phoenicians were avid documentarians. Sadly, their Papyrus documents perished. Though their enemies methodically destroyed many records, Phoenician history, nevertheless did survive.
Their enemies chronicled parallel events and those survived time.
For several centuries the relentless Mediterranean blockade continued.
The Phoenicians controlled the Straits
exit, either from Cartiea's harbour (in Gorham's Caves remain Phoenician shrines), further along, they observed from Baelo Claudia
, Bolonia and from Tingis (Tangiers) in Morroco.
The importance of this area was vital in Tarifa History.
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