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Code: 106844 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504611 Archaeology FB 1 1


David Asensio Vilaró

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Objectives and Contextualisation

The objectives are to provide the student with a basic training in archaeology, history and other social disciplines, and to become familiar with historical-archaeological content. The course has as content the exposition of the basic features of historical-archaeological research applied to the field of the protohistoric period in the geographical context of the different sectors of the Mediterranean Sea. The contributions of instrumental methodologies and analytical techniques in the debates that the discipline has addressed will be considered. The main discoveries and points that have aroused the greatest controversy in the investigation of the different periods and territories considered will be studied. The contents include the contributions of the different areas of the social and human sciences from which the hypotheses are elaborated (anthropology, sociology, etc.) to interpret the information and empirical evidence from the archaeological record.

This nuclear subject is conceived as a continuation and extension of the basic subject HISTORY.

Specifically, the main objectives are:

1.- Analyze the current lines of research and thought in protohistoric archaeology, from its origins to the present day.

2.- Provide the student with a global vision of the subjects and fields that are part of what today is called protohistoric archaeology in the framework of the Mediterranean Sea.

3.- Reflect on the link between protohistoric archaeology and other disciplines (ancient history, anthropology, archaeological theory...).

Learning Outcomes

  • CM01 (Competence) Understand problems in the study of prehistory and protohistory associated to the need to avoid androcentric perspectives and sex or gender inequalities.
  • KM01 (Knowledge) Identify the most characteristic material remains of prehistoric and protohistoric societies.
  • KM02 (Knowledge) Recognise the main historical processes experienced by human societies in prehistory and protohistory and the factors that influenced them.
  • KM03 (Knowledge) Contextualise historical processes from the prehistoric and protohistoric archaeological record in an introductory manner.
  • SM01 (Skill) Synthetically explain the periods of prehistory and protohistory, both empirically and interpretively.
  • SM02 (Skill) Identify the main archaeological materials in the prehistoric and protohistoric time-frame.
  • SM03 (Skill) Effectively express oneself by applying the typical procedures used to present arguments in formal discourse when producing written work or making oral presentations on introductory aspects of prehistory and protohistory.


The contents of the subject are partially determined by the desire not to repeat topics and aspects already taught in other subjects of the Degrees in Antiquity Sciences and Archaeology. This explains that in the development of the subject, the protohistoric themes and realities corresponding to the eastern Mediterranean areas and, especially, the central Mediterranean (almost never dealt with) will have a greater weight than those of the pre-Roman cultures of the Iberian Peninsula. There will also be a preferential orientation towards the local communities or 'indigenous peoples' on the shores of the Mediterranean, over the Greek or Pheno-Punic colonial contingents established in their territories.


Subject script:

1:- Presentation. Definition of protohistoric societies.

2.- The protohistoric societies of the second millennium BC: the Eastern Mediterranean.

2.1.- The Minoan civilization of Crete and the Mycenaean civilization of Continental Greece.

2.2.- Other state societies of the Eastern Med.: Cycladic Islands, Hittites, Canaanites and Cypriot Bronze.

3.- The protohistoric societies of the first millennium BC: Central and Western Mediterranean.

3.1- The precedents of complex societies in the Italian Peninsula and Sicily.

3.1.1- The Mycenaean impact in southern Italy and Sicily.

3.1.2.- The Poladian culture (Ancient Bronze Age in the alpine regions).

3.1.3- The Terramare culture (Middle Bronze Age in the Po Valley).

3.2.- The complex societies of the first millennium in the central Med.

3.2.1.- The proto-Vilanovian horizon (Final Bronze Age in Tuscany and Lazi).

3.2.2- The precedents: the Vilanovian culture and other horizons of late bronze/first iron.

3.2.3- The Etruscan world. A state civilization of the highest complexity.

3.2.4.- Other lesser known Italic peoples: Latinos, Oscos, Messapis, Lucanos, Siculos, Sicanos, etc.

3.3.- The complex societies of the first millennium in the Iberian Peninsula.

3.3.1.- The precedents: the episodes of complexity of the Bronze Age; Argaric southeast, motillas, Valencian bronze.

3.3.2.- The 'crisis' and new dynamism in the final bronze, precolonial contacts.

3.3.3.- The Tartessian civilization.

4.- A case of cultural interaction in a colonial context: Western peoples and Phocean colonization.

4.1.- The South Gauls.

4.2.- The Iberians of the North.


1. Directed training in the classroom. Theoretical presentations will be offered to introduce and analyze the most relevant aspects of Mediterranean protohistoric archaeology. These contents will be complemented with PowerPoint sessions, images, explanatory tables, documentaries and interactive websites. There will also be exercises (readings, comments, analysis of examples, etc.) and some debates will be proposed.

2. Archaeological visit. It intends to complement the contents of the subject with a visit to an archaeological site in Catalonia that is significant in terms of relations and cultural influences between western indigenous societies and colonial agents and the evolution of interpretations on this issue.

3. Individual work. The elaboration of a mandatory individual work is proposed that will consist of a written exercise of analysis of different texts on the main thematic blocks considered, in which the different problems raised in class are incorporated, the relationship between the arguments and interpretative options of the texts and the main theoretical or conceptual frameworks of reference and, finally, also the contribution and personal criticism of the articles. The analysis of these texts will be carried out in person in class, which will therefore be mandatory attendance sessions.


Note: 15 minutes of a class will be reserved, within the calendar established by the degree, for the completion by the students of the surveys to evaluate the performance of the teaching staff and the evaluation of the subject/module.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
theoric sessions 144 5.76 CM01, KM01, KM02, KM03, SM01, SM02, SM03, CM01



1.- Theoretical tests: 2 partial exams (40% each). The concepts taught in class will be evaluated from a written exercise carried out in class in person.

2.- Individual work described in the previous section (20%).

3.- Reavaluation conditions. The student who has a failing grade as a result of the average of the three evaluation activities (2 exams and one task) must be re-evaluated.


This course incorporates the UNIQUE EVALUATION system.

The evaluation activities of the Single Evaluation system are the same as those of the Continuous Evaluation system, with the same proportion of evaluation.

The same assessment method as continuous assessment will be used.

Students will obtain a Not assessed/Not submitted course grade unless they have submitted more than 1/3 of the assessment items.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Task 20% 2 0.08 KM02, KM03, SM01, SM03
exam 1 40% 2 0.08 KM02, KM03, SM01, SM03
exam 2 40% 2 0.08 CM01, KM01, KM02, KM03, SM01, SM02, SM03


Aubet, M.E. (1994): Tiro y las colonias fenicias de occidente. Ed. Crítica. Barcelona. 

Aubet, M.E. (2007): Comercio y colonialismo en el Próximo Oriente antiguo; los antecedentes coloniales del III y II milenio aC. Bellaterra Arqueología. Barcelona.

Calvo, M.; Guerrero, V.M.; Salvà, B. (2002): "Los orígenes del poblamiento balear, una discusión no acabada", Complutum, 13, pp. 159-191.

Costa, B.; Benito, N. (2000): "El poblament de les illes Pitïuses durant la prehistòria. Estat actual de la investigació". Colonización humana en ambientes insulares: interacción con el medio y adaptación cultural. Universitat de les Illes Balears, pp. 215-321.

Cristofani, M. (Ed.) (2000): Etruschi, una nuova immagine. Giunti Ed. Firenze. Dickinson, O. (2000): La Edad del Bronce egea; Akal Ediciones, Madrid.

Dickinson, O. (2010): El Egeo, de la Edad del Bronce a la Edad del Hierro; Bellaterra arqueología, Barcelona

Dietler, M. (1990): Driven by drink: the role of drinking in the political economy of the case of early Iron Age France, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 9.

Dietler, M. (1999): Rituals of commensality and the politics of state formation in the 'princely' societies of early Iron Age Europe, Les princes et l'émergence de l'État: Actes de la table ronde internationale de Naples (1994), Collection Centre Jean Bérard, 17, Bibliothèque de l'École Française de Rome, 252, pp. 135-152.

French, E. (2005): Micenas, capital de Agamenón. Bellaterra Arqueología, Barcelona.

Gracia, F. (1995): Comercio del vino y estructuras de intercambio en el NE. de la Península Ibérica y Languedoc-Rosellón entre los siglos VII-V aC. In: Celestino (S.) ed. Arqueología del vino. Los orígenes del vino en Occidente, Jerez de la Frontera, p. 297-331.

Guerrero, V.M.; Calvo, M.; Salvà, B. (2002): "La cultura talayótica. Una sociedad de la Edad del Hierro en la periferia de la colonización fenicia", Complutum, 13, pp. 221-258.

Lilliu, G. (1999): La Civiltà Nuragica. Sardegna Archeologica, Studi e Monumenti, 2, Roma. 

Lilliu, G. (1999): La Civiltà Nuragica. Sardegna Archeologica, Studi e Monumenti, 2, Roma.

Llull, V.; Micó, R.; Rihuete, C.; Risch, R. (2001): La prehistoria de las Islas Baleares y el yacimiento arqueológico de Son Fornés (Montuiri, Mallorca). Edició Fundació Son Fornés. Barcelona.

Pacciarelli, M. (2001): Dal villagio alla città: la svolta protourbana del 1000 a.C. nell'Italia tirrenica. Grande contesti e problema della protostoria italiana, 4, Firenze.

Pallotino, M. (1987): Etruscologia. Ed. Hoepli. Milano.

Pericot, L. (1975): Las islas Baleares en los tiempos prehistóricos. Barcelona.

Plantalamor, Ll. (1991): L'arquitectura prehistòrica i protohistòrica de Menorca i el seu marc cultural. Maó.

Py, M. (1993): Les gaulois du midi; de la fin de l'age du bronze à la conquete romaine. Hachette Ed.

Py, M. (2009): Lattara (Lattes, Hérault), comptoir gaulois méditerranéen entre Etrusques, Grecs et Romains. Collection Hauts lieux d'Histoire, Editions Errance, Paris. 

Sanmartí, J. (2004): From local communities to early states. Pyrenae,35-1, Universitat de Barcelona, pp. 7-41.

Sanmartí, J.; Santacana, J. (2005): Els ibers del Nord. Rafael Dalmau Eds., Barcelona, 232 p.

Sanmartí, J.; Asensio, D. ; Belarte, M.C. ; Noguera, J. (2009): Comerç colonial, comensalitat i canvi social a la protohistoria de Catalunya, Citerior, 5, pp. 219-238.

Stein, G. (2005): Archaeology of Colonial Encounters: Comparative Perspectives.

Van Dommelen, P. (1997): "Colonial Constructs: Colonialism and Archaeology in the Mediterranean", World Archaeology, Vol. 28, No. 3, Culture Contact and Colonialism, pp. 305-323.

Wolf, E.R. (1987): Europa y la gente sin historia. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.


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