Real women, women as heroes

Dama de Baza Pulse para ampliar Dama de Baza. Sala 11, vitrina 11.14

Iberian Tomb

Tomb Nº 155 is the main burial site for the Iberian necropolis at Baza (Granada) and it is famous because therein was discovered a sculpture known as the Lady of Baza, a large anthropomorphic cinerary urn. It was masterfully carved in limestone in the first half 4th century B.C. which was a large funerary urn. The discovery of this tomb, which had been preserved by being sealed with its archeological surroundings intact, represented a turning point for understanding the History of Iberian women.

The presence of presumed male funerary objects that accompanied the Lady, and which included various collections of arms, prompted researchers to think that the grave had been intended for a man. Subsequent studies, including research on tiny scorched bone fragments mixed with ashes and preserved in an opening on one side of the throne, demonstrated that the person buried there was a woman. It was thus demonstrated that the presence of arms was compatible with tombs for women, a notion that had traditionally not been contemplated. We may be in the presence of the founder of a bloodline, who, in this manner, had been revered as a hero by her descendants as a reflection of the important leadership position that women occupied in Iberian society. Quite possibly for the same reason, this culture left us with a greater proportional number of female images.