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Iberian settlement of Puig de la Misericordia

Iberian settlement of Puig de la Misericordia

Located on the hill of Puig de la Misericordia is a unique Iberian settlement that combines a residential function or a rural house with a fortified structure. Excavations at the site show that its chronocultural development consists of three different phases of occupation: one from the Iron Age and two from the Iberian Age.

The vestiges of the Iron Age are mostly in ruins. They are rectangular buildings made of masonry with a history that dates back to the second half of the 7th century and the first half of the 6th century BC. The ceramic material that has been found includes handmade pieces of cord-marked pottery. Alongside the indigenous material, archaeologists have also found ceramics imported from Phoenicia, particularly amphorae from the southern part of the peninsula.

Concerning the Iberian Age, excavations have pointed to the discovery of the area of a rampart, whose walls are more than 4 m thick at some points. According to the Greek ceramics found, these remains correspond to some time after 550 BC, although it is true that the most abundant ceramics have originated from trade with Phoenicia, especially amphorae, jars, tripod dishes, and fragments of two-coloured vessels.

The site was abandoned at the start of the 5th century BC, while a new one with a distinctive layout was occupied and built at a later time. In this new stage, a small rural house was planned out on the central street, dating back to possibly the middle of the 2nd century BC, given the presence of black varnish vessels and Italian amphorae. The archaeological evidence indicates that it was an agricultural settlement. Among the highlights is an iron billhook, a pruning tool that would indicate the house operated a vineyard. In addition, abundant Iberian ceramic material made by lathe and a few handmade fragments have been found. The architectural layout leads one to intuit that, in addition to its agricultural character, the settlement may have had some type of strategic function, taking into account that there are other settlements in its vicinity, such as the ones at Puig de la Nau or Perengil, Tossa Alta in Benicarló, and Moleta del Remei, more to the north. 

The settlement was abandoned around the end of the 2nd century AD.

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