Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Caudete de las Fuentes< Poblado ibérico amurallado Los Villares

Poblado ibérico amurallado Los Villares(Caudete de las Fuentes)

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It is located in what is now known as the hill of the Villares, very close to the present town of Caudete de las Fuentes.

It seems to have been walled, although there are hardly any remains of a wall along the roads that delimit the hill. The settlement occupies approximately 10 ha, from the area corresponding to the acropolis, where the archaeological work has been focused, to practically the Madre river, on the other side of the current town of Caudete de las Fuentes. The northern bank of this river is the one that received the later denomination of the Roman population, which will be known as Caput Aquae (spring of water), from which the Muslim Qabdaq and Cabdet in Romance language will be derived later, giving rise to the current toponym.

The first news we have of Los Villares come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, it was not until the mid-twentieth century that archaeological excavations began, with the help of Enrique Pla Ballester and the Servei d'Investigació Prehistòrica. Thus, campaigns were carried out in 1956, 1957 and 1959, as well as a fourth in 1975. Since 1992, the excavation works of the site have been completed with the research project of its territory, with 16 prospecting campaigns in the region of Requena-Utiel. The site was consolidated and restored in 2004, the year in which the annual open days began to be held at the site. Los Villares / Kelin is integrated in the Ruta dels Ibers València 6 of the Diputación de Valencia.

The archaeological site has two areas inside the fenced enclosure. In them, the urban fabric of two different periods has been preserved: one Proto-Iberian (7th century BC) and the other fully Iberian (4th-2nd centuries BC). Outside, you can see a section of the wall, the quarry from which stone was possibly extracted for its construction and some constructive remains, next to the river. The archaeological remains show elongated dwellings, separated in some cases by narrow corridors, with hardly any internal divisions and with a circular, flat or bowl-shaped hearth. The materials used are stones and adobe, with the stones a plinth was made on which an adobe wall was built. Remains of handmade ceramics have also been found, some of which imitate lathe-made pieces; few iron objects have been found in a lamentable state of preservation; as well as a small number of imported ceramics such as Phoenician-Western amphorae and jars, tripods and red varnish.

Coins, aces and semis were found, which show that Kelin minted its own coinage during a short period of time between the second half of the 2nd century and the beginning of the 1st century B.C., destined for local and daily use.

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