Cist burial. Dwelling and Dying at Home

Cista de Herrerías Pulse para ampliar Cista de Herrerías. Sala 9, vitrina 9.3

Prehistory: Bronze Age (2,200 – 850 BC)Salto de línea

In Early Bronze Age, the Argar culture developed, in southeast Iberia, a complex social organization, with intensive agricultural and livestock economy.

The cist of Herrerías (Cuevas del Almanzora, Almería), is a burial typical of the metal-working groups who inhabited southeast Iberian at Early Bronze. Inside this cist or box formed by 6 stone slabs, the pioneering archaeologist Luis Siret found a skeleton whose arms and legs had been folded against the left side, perhaps to make it easier to bind the corpse. The dead man's grave goods consisted of his weapons, as befitted men of certain social status, and pottery vessels which his relatives had filled with food offerings to ensure his survival.

The most striking thing about this burial is that it was built, like all tombs in Argaric settlements, beneath the floor of a house. This was done to keep the dead ancestor close to the community of the living. However, not everyone was entitled to a burial, and those who were did not all have the same kind of grave goods or tomb. A comparative study of the tombs at Argaric settlements reveals significant differences. On one hand gender differences such as demonstrates the discovery of golden diadems, such as that of Caravaca de la Cruz, in the tombs of important women who used them as a symbol of ostentation of their power and social prestige. On the other hand, increasingly obvious signs of social inequality as positions of power became hereditary, a fact proved by the discovery of several children's tombs containing grave goods.