In recent decades, archaeological and historical research on the Iron Age in the north-western Iberian Peninsula, as in many other areas and archaeological contexts, has developed a ‘pacifist’ interpretation. This is based, among other aspects, upon the rejection of the functional nature of the weapons documented in the archaeological record and on the development of a hypothesis on the non-defensive nature of walls, interpreting these structures as a symbol of the community or as an indication of the cohesion of the group living in the settlement. Such an interpretation can be integrated with the idea of a pre- and proto-historic ‘pacified past’ developed after the Second World War, which considered that ‘before civilization, war was rare, ritualised, abnormal and foreign to human psychology’ and with the belief that there has been a evolutionary progression from a primitive to a civilized way of war.
(Online publication September 26 2011)
FRANCISCO JAVIER GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain