Thu. Feb 20th, 2020

The Bulls of Guisando rejuvenate a century | Culture


In Spain there are about 400 identified verazos boars and a few dozen more in Portugal, sculptures from the 4th century BC to the II, scattered throughout the western center of the peninsula and representing bulls or wild boars, according to Celtic tradition. Some, peaceful and others, in an attitude of attack. Therefore, to the historians and archaeologists of the Autonomous University of Madrid it occurred to them to enter the data of 158 of them, including the famous Bulls of Guisando (Ávila), on a computer and treat them with a program from the University of Oslo. The result obtained, published in the magazine Journal of Archaeological Science, it is that the Avilanian horns were almost a century more modern than previously thought and that their original location was the mountains of The tremble. In Roman times, these Celtic sculptures were moved from their original locations to be used as funerary monuments and, later in the Middle or Modern Age, possibly the monks of the monastery of San Jerónimo de Guisando placed them in the current location.


Distribution of the findings

Source: Autonomous University of Madrid

and National Geographic Institute.

NACHO CATALÁN / EL PAÍS

Distribution of the findings

Source: Autonomous University of Madrid

and National Geographic Institute.

NACHO CATALÁN / EL PAÍS

Distribution of the findings

Source: Autonomous University of Madrid and National Geographic Institute.

NACHO CATALÁN / EL PAÍS

The Bulls of Guisando rejuvenate a century



From this statistical analysis, the experts classify the known greenish boars into three groups: A, the oldest (IV to III centuries BC) and with more details on their surface. Their function was to protect the cattle and they were larger (even more than two meters); B, more modern (from III to I a. C), protected the main towns, had smaller dimensions (one meter) and had been carved with less precision; and C, very small, produced in series and with funerary purpose, already in Roman times (from I a. C until II d.C.).

Initially, the problem that the experts faced when it came to dating the sculptures is that almost all of the works had been removed from their original usage contexts, so they decided to put in the Past3 computer program data from each of the sculptures (thickness, width, anatomical details, attitude of the animal, weight, species …) and determined, through the binary exploded view of their characteristics, which made up these clearly differentiated groups, groups in relation to different periods and different functionalities.

Boar of Cardeñosa, centuries IV to III B.C.


Boar of Cardeñosa, centuries IV to III B.C.

Thus they were able to advance the chiseled age of the Guisando Bulls around the second century BC. C., not between III and IV as it was supposed, explains Luis Berrocal-Rangel, Professor of Prehistory at the Autonomous University of Madrid. This change makes them objects of group B, dedicated to the protection of people, reflecting the proximity of the Romans or some other invading group that worried the vetons. From these results, Rosario García-Jiménez, Professor of Mineralogy and Crystallography of the same university, was responsible for analyzing the granite with which the sculptures were made, in order to recognize where their quarries were and, if they were I could deduce the existence of workshops. He established, by comparing the colors of the stone and its chemical and geological analysis, a true DNA of the carved stones, including a campaign of surveys in the possible quarries were located, up to 34, which allowed the researchers to propose the thesis that there were six manufacturing workshops and even that the maximum distance traveled by these sculptures was going , according to morphological type, between 20 and 50 kilometers.

Gregorio Manglano, a doctor in Prehistory and a university professor, adds that, in his opinion, the Guisando Bulls were changed location, possibly by the monks of the monastery of San Jerónimo de Guisando, built in 1375 in el Tremble (Ávila), and taken to its current location, one kilometer away. The reasons are unknown. The problem that afflicts this type of works is that, for centuries, in addition to being transferred, they have been sold and destroyed. “There are some that were sawn in half to turn them into stone benches and others serve as ornaments on farms and palaces,” recalls the professor. “Even the civil governor José María Cambronero ordered to destroy them in the 19th century when they were considered monuments ordered by Emperor Carlos V to infamy the commoners of Castilla“, Add. “There are boars distributed in the strangest places, from the walls of Ávila to the interior of farms and private gardens,” recalls Berrocal-Rangel. “For example, at the beginning of the last century, the boar that threw itself into the river and that corresponded with the one mentioned in The Lazarillo de Tormes and that they had been thrown into the river in compliance with the order of the mentioned civil governor of Salamanca ”.

Therefore, the three specialists call on the authorities for a comprehensive protection of these sculptures, more than 2000 years old, and even turn them into a World Heritage Site. “They are unique and cannot be allowed to be destroyed or displaced as has happened until recently. It is our unique and unrepeatable heritage, ”they conclude.

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