August 4, 2020

The projectile that solved an enigma | Culture


The archaeological imbroglio was so great that the University of Córdoba resorted in 2009 to appointments Albert Einstein and of Li Hongzhi, founder of the Falun Gong philosophy, to try to explain it in his report From Isturgi et Iliturgi Confusione. "Nothing is random," he pointed out, which meant that there have been many hidden interests in this unresolved history that arose in 206 BC and continues to this day. Counterfeits included.

The problem -which has now been solved by the Institute of Archeology of the University of Jaén- was the following: there were two Iberian cities called Iliturgi and Isturgi. It was known that they were located in the interior of the current province of Jaén, but nobody could prove its exact location. And two locations, Andújar and Mengíbar -Separadas about 20 kilometers and own archaeological sites, claimed to be the heirs of Iliturgi. Both struggled to be the direct descendants of this ancient Spanish settlement, because this Iberian city was a kind of Numancia Andalusian in front of the Roman troops of Scipio the African. Isturgi, on the other hand, was a simple potter's center without so much epic.

The two towns of Jaén, which use the iliturgitan name in shops, clubs or institutions, have wielded from the sixteenth century documents and two "material evidence" (Roman inscriptions) that would prove that they are the real Iliturgi. Until someone discovered that one of the vestiges was a fake and that there were doubts about the other.

The story gets complicated when Ambrosio Morales – sent from Felipe II– he finds in Valdemao (Lugo) the body of St. Euphrasius, whom he identified as Bishop of Iliturgi, emphasizing that this city was Andújar. From there, several authors repeat it. But in 1635 it was found, according to a document of the time, "three quarters of a league from Andujar, in the place called Los Villares, a very large jasper base" where it read: "Res publica Isturgitanorum", or what It's the same, Andújar is Isturgi.

In 1960, archaeologists Antonio Blanco and Gaspar de Lachica found another tombstone in Mengíbar dedicated by the "Iliturgitan people to its founder", Tiberio Sempronio Graco, which gave history another turn: the Iberian city returned to the Mengíbar camp. However, the unearthed inscription (Lachica was from Mengíbar) provoked doubts. In it was recorded: "To Tiberio Sempronio Graco, its founder [deductor] the iliturgitano town ", but the word" deductor "does not exist in any known Roman inscription, although its use is correct. In addition, Lachica's brother was a sculptor. For some authors it was a fake. For others, no. "If you want to falsify something, do not put a word that is not used, many said," recalls Juan Pedro Bellón, director of the current Iliturgi excavations.

The investigation of the Roman siege of an Iberian settlement in Mengíbar began in 2012, but no one knew what city it was. The one they dug was razed during Second Punic War (between Carthaginians and Romans between 218 and 201 BC) and heavy artillery with large projectiles had been used against it.

When comparing the remains of the weapons found in the siege of Mengíbar with those found in Baecula (in Santo Tomé, also in Jaén), the archaeologists discovered that they were of the same type, precisely those used by Scipio, the only one who used them in to. C. Then if the ammunition coincided, it was clear that they were before the same army in the two great battles disputed in Jaén: Mengíbar was Iliturgi.

The 2009 report of the University of Córdoba concluded: experts since the seventeenth century "used false chronicles, filling their writings with inventions and hoaxes that have filled these studies with real confusion," creating "a real institutionalized mess." Until the University of Jaén has found the projectiles that finally solve the mess.

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