a woman was the most powerful person on the Iberian Peninsula in the Copper Age


A few ago 15 yearsA team of archaeologists He made an extraordinary find. I dealt with one tomb of more than 5,000 years old located in the Seville municipality of Valencia in which the remains of an individual surrounded by ostentatious grave goods; from tusks of Asian and African elephants to amber from Sicily and a powerful ivory dagger. At the time, experts considered that this subject wrapped in luxuries must be a man. But as a new analysis of the remains reveals, that person buried among so many honors was a woman; now baptized as the ‘ivory lady’.

The story of this powerful prehistoric leader has been rescued by a team of researchers from the University of Seville. Her real identity has come to light thanks to a novel technique that allows tracking the presence of a dental protein It is expressed differently in men and women. In this case, the analysis of a molar and an incisor found in the tomb made it possible to reveal who that person buried among so many honors really was. «Was a young woman between the ages of 17 and 25 and besides, he was most prominent subject of the Copper Age in the Iberian Peninsula», maintains the analysis of its remains, whose conclusions are published this Thursday in the journal ‘Science Advances’.

«The most powerful person on the peninsula was a woman between the ages of 17 and 25»

leader of his community

The archaeological study of the remains also shows that the ‘ivory lady’ was a very powerful person within his community. Most likely, one of the most important leaders of her time in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula. According to the experts who have led the study, his is the tomb with the most grave goods and luxuries found to date. has not been found either no man of the time buried among so many honors and, therefore, with a social status comparable to that of this prehistoric leader.

Everything points to the ‘ivory lady’ forged her reputation and power throughout her life and, as proof of this, she was buried with all honors. The study of other funeral acts of the time shows that many times both adults and children were buried without any type of luxury or grave goods. «This indicates that the high status individuals like the ‘ivory lady’ achieved their social position through their merits in life and not by family inheritance«, highlight the archaeologists who have carried out this analysis, led by the prehistorian Marta Cintas Peña, from the University of Seville

intergenerational legacy

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One of the clearest signs of this woman’s power is that, at a time when most burials were collective, both her remains and her most valuable objects were deposited in an individual chamber. The analysis of the other tombs of the Sevillian site also indicates that for more than 200 years no one was buried within 35 meters of her. «This suggests that the memory and recollection of their existence and importance was maintained for at least 8 to 10 generations after their death,» the scientists add.

«The memory of its importance was kept for at least 8 to 10 generations»

The only other tomb from that period in which grave goods comparable to that of the ‘ivory lady’ have been found is a grave with the remains of at least 15 women. This finding, as the experts explain, «suggests that women held leadership positions in the Iberian society of the Copper Age» and, above all, invites us to rethink the role of women at the dawn of our civilization.

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