You are here

The role of women in the Iberian Iron Age society and other contemporary European parallels

Saturday, 4 October, 2014
Carme Garrido
Jasna Lesnjak
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

Every first weekend of October takes place the Iberian Weekend, an event happening in the sixteen Iberian archaeological sites that participate in The Iberian Route, a cultural tourism project coordinated by the Museum of Archaeology of Catalonia. The goal of the Iberian Weekend is to disseminate the culture of this Mediterranean Iron Age society by offering to the visitors a proposal full of activities for free in order they know the contribution of the Iberians to our society. This year’s theme was “Women in the Iberian World”.

La Ciutadella Ibèrica de Calafell offered to its visitors in October 4 as a part of the Iberian Weekend event, a new thematic guided visit focusing on the role of women in the Iberian Iron Age society.

As an introduction and in order to offer to the visitors an opportunity to place the specific Iberian culture information into a broader European Iron Age context, a brief comparison of women’s roles in some other contemporary European societies was made, stressing out that in Iron Age there were important differences regarding women’s role not only between different social classes of one society, or between different remote cultures, but also between neighboring societies, as for instance Athens’ and Sparta’s ones, on the one hand, or Roman and Etruscan ones, on the other hand.

Aristocratic women in domestic, sacred and funerary context
Once given this broader European context, some specific aspects of the Iberian society and women’s status were presented, although only limited on the role of aristocratic women, due to the lack of archeological/historical information about other less privileged classes of the Iberian society.

Three aspects of the Iberian aristocratic women’s role were presented:

1.) Everyday life in the private sphere, family life and the most important aristocratic women’s handcraft activity – linen and wool cloth weaving.

2.) Aristocratic women’s active participation in one the most important Iberian public spheres, the religion (priestesses).

3.) A ‘post-mortem’ treatment of aristocratic women in the Iberian society (examples of weapons presence in selected women’s tombs).

The explication, which was realized in the interior of the reconstructed Iberian Citadel and followed by approximately 50 visitors, was complemented with the demonstration of some aristocratic women’s handcraft activities such as wool weaving, and with pictures of numerous sculptures, drawings and paintings representing the role of women in the above mentioned Iron Age European societies.

A repetition of this special themed visit took place during the International Women's Day in March 8, 2015


Official Poster