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ALHIS Report Summary

Project ID: 654906
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALHIS (Archaeology, Landscapes and Heritage in the Iberian Southeast)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2017-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The research area of this project is the archaeological and historical study of the Late Iron Age communities (designated Iberians) in the region of Murcia, in the Spanish Southeast, from the 5th to the 1st centuries BC. The project focuses on their socio-political transformations through the study of the landscape, an approach which this area lacks. In addition, it aims to bring this research to the social field, in order to enhance the rich archaeological heritage of this area.

The main objectives of the project are:
1. To collect all the evidences of Iron Age and Roman sites of the Iberian Southeast.
2. To explore the development of regional landscapes as indicators of socio-political transformations.
3. To facilitate a comparative approach with other Western Mediterranean and Iberian areas.
4. To complete, enhance and boost the fellow’s formation on both specific methodologies applied to Landscape studies and critical studies on Heritage.
5. To facilitate the transfer of the gained historical knowledge to a proper and efficient management/development of the regional heritage.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Main work and results of the project are:
1. Compilation of all the archaeological, historical and geographical data of the study area for both periods Iron Age and Roman Republican period.
2. Bibliographical compilation about both Iron Age and Early Roman period studies and Heritage studies.
3. Review and analysis in details of unpublished and unstudied archaeological materials from sites located in the Middle Segura valley and deposited in the regional museums. Visits and fieldwork have been carried out in order to improve our knowledge about them.
4. Integration of all the compiled archaeological, historical and geographic data in a Geographic Information System (a database with spatial references). Issues such as the visual control of the documented sites, their access to the surrounding lands and the potential of these lands to farming activities, have been analysed through specialised software.
5. Results from the indicated analyses have allowed us to approach key issues such as the chronological development of the regional sites, the changes and continuities revealed in the exploitation of the lands, the transformations in the settlement patterns, the organisation of the territory through main sites and points of control and the installation of the Roman model in these territories.
6. Comparative analyses with other Iberian and European areas, addressing similarities and differences in both processes: the socio-political development defining the Late Iron Age and the Roman integration of the local communities.
7. Training in both Cultural Heritage studies and the use of new and digital methodologies applied to Archaeology and Heritage have been received during all the development of the project.

The exploitation and dissemination of the results has been carried out through publications, participation in events and participation in seminars and conferences. Let us explain in detail the activities developed and aimed to this objective:
1. We have attended a total of 23 conferences, workshop and seminars.
2. We have given the following papers and talks in national and international conferences:
- 'Approaching hybridization through the Iron Age sacred landscapes: Cult places, material culture and socio-political processes in the Iberian southeast'
- 'A diachronic approach to the Iron Age sacred places: their role and their impact on the landscapes of southeast Spain'
- 'A new look at the archaeological record of the Iberian Final Iron Age: society and settlement patterns through the analysis of rural contexts in the Iberian Southeast'
- 'Los últimos hallazgos en el Cerro del Castillo: una aproximación a su marco espacial y territorial en el contexto del Sureste ibérico'
- ' Las Producciones Cerámicas de finales de la Edad del Hierro en el ámbito Ibérico Peninsular'
In addition, we have presented the poster entitled ‘Archaeology, Landscapes and Heritage in the Iberian Southeast’
3. We have also participated in other non-academic events with the following talks, presentations and online publications:
- 'Nuevas tecnologías para el estudio de la Edad del Hierro en el Sureste: paisajes ibéricos y romanos en el Noroeste murciano'
- 'The ALHIS Project'
- ‘A day at the ALHIS Project’
4. Amongst the prepared peer-review publications, the following ones have been already accepted and are currently published or in press:
- 'Más allá del valle del Thader: poblamiento y dinámicas territoriales en las comarcas meridionales murcianas entre los siglos V a.C.-II d.C.'.
- El mundo ibérico en el Sureste peninsular: los territorios meridionales murcianos
- ‘Society and settlement patterns in the Iberian Late Iron Age: a new look at the rural archaeological record of the Iberian Southeast’
-‘The ALHIS project: Archaeology, Landscapes and Heritage in the Iberian Southeast’

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Several main contributions to the state of the art could be remarked:
- The project has provided framework, territorial models and settlement patterns for the future archaeology of Protohistoric and Roman sites in the area. This means an important piece to understand the socio-political dynamics’ map of these Iberian South-eastern communities, which lacks in overall synthesis of the period.
- Both the methodology and the diachronic perspective defining the project are innovative within the regional research.
- The project has revealed the importance of the rural landscapes to understand the organisation and development of local communities from the 5th to the 1st centuries BC.
- Fieldwork developed during the project has allowed us to approach in detail for the first time some of the regional Iron Age secondary settlements. In addition, the project has addressed for the first time information provided by all sites, including necropolises, habitats and cult places.
- The research has offered key information about the diversity of the Roman integration strategies in these territories.
- Finally, it has placed the analysed territories within the European research lines on Iron Age and Early Roman archaeology, offering a new comparative case study in the Iberian Peninsula and bringing to light these periods in a scarcely known area at international level.

Regarding the impact we can remark two main levels. On the one hand, it has been key for the researcher's career. Through the development of the project we have strengthened our communication and dissemination skills, gaining also new competences (management, organisational) essential for the further development of our research career. Moreover, since European funding programmes are highly appreciated in Spain, it is also expected that it will enhance our career and our work chances.
On the other hand, the project has an important impact for the European society. Since we have returned to our home country after years abroad, the project has offered us the opportunity to transfer all the scientific and methodological knowledge acquired during all these years to Spain and particularly to our region, contributing to the regional policy of the European Union. Moreover, our research has contributed to the development of scientific studies at European level, offering new knowledge about the interesting heritage of the analysed region, crucial for the development of new heritage projects in the future.

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