Settlement and Space in Northwest Iberia: Transition in the territory of the Castros Culture during the Late Iron Age and Early Roman Period


This dissertation focuses on the Roman conquest of the remote region of northwest Iberia during the end of the first millennium B.C. and its effects on the native Castros Culture. This Iberian Iron Age culture developed throughout the first millennium B.C., and is mostly designated by a settlement model known as the castro – a fortified, hilltop site consisting of large defensive systems and a network of roundhouses. The cultural apex of the Castros societies occurred from the 2nd century B.C.-1st century A.D., an era which is signified by advances in art, technology, and the rise of complex societies. These centuries also coincided with increased Roman presence and influence in northwest Iberia. This dissertation examines the evolution of the castro settlement system and the modification of traditional Iron Age urban spatial models. In northwest Iberia, the end of the first millennium B.C. was characterized by the growth of proto-urban settlements in which the local communities began adopting more Mediterranean concepts of spatial organization. During the Augustan age the first true urban centers in northwest Iberia were founded. These were a key component to the Roman administration of the region. The Romans established three strategic cities – Asturica Augusta, Lucus Augusti, and Bracara Augusta – which became the centers from which Roman culture gradually spread to the Castros communities. These foundations were the first steps in the process of Roman urbanization that continued throughout the 1st century A.D. in northwest Iberia. This era marks a transition in the built environment of the native landscape, where the traditional spatial concepts of the castro and the roundhouse were eventually replaced by the Roman town and the Mediterranean atrium house. This work takes into account evidence from previous Iberian studies as well as offering new data from recent archaeological investigations to create a better understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of northwest Iberia.
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2013)


Urbanus, Jason Matthew, "Settlement and Space in Northwest Iberia: Transition in the territory of the Castros Culture during the Late Iron Age and Early Roman Period" (2013). Graduate Research Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.