La Bastida (Totana, Murcia) is one of the most important archaeological sites of Prehistory in Europe. It was inhabited about 4000 years ago in the Bronze Age, and it has a great potential to understand our past and the heritage and cultural projection of Murcia Region.
The archaeological site is located in the Sierra Tercia, on a steep hill at confluence of the Rambla de Lebor and Salado Cliff around 6 km west of Totana town. The four hectares of surface make it one of the most extensive sites and it can only be compared to the one that occupied the present town of Lorca.From a recent press release:
The Argaric society was a milestone of sedentary life, urbanism, metallurgy and political and economic inequalities. La Bastida offers a unique and exceptional opportunity to understand this key stage of our past.
La Bastida unearths 4,200-year-old fortification, unique in continental Europe
Similar characteristics have not been observed in other constructions of the Bronze Age, with three-metre thick walls, square towers originally measuring up to seven metres, a monumental entrance and an ogival arched postern gate; a fully conserved architectural element unique in Europe in that period.
The wall protected a city measuring 4 hectares located on top of a hill. With architectural elements reminiscent of people with Eastern styled military skills, its model is typical of ancient civilisations of the Mediterranean, such as the second city of Troy.
One of the most relevant architectural elements discovered is the ogival arched postern gate, or secondary door, located near the main entrance. The arch is in very good conditions and is the first one to be found in Prehistoric Europe. Precedents can be found in the second city of Troy (Turkey) and in the urban world of the Middle East (Palestine, Israel and Jordan), influenced by the civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. This indicates that people from the East participated in the construction of the fortification. These people would have reached La Bastida after the crisis which devastated their region 4,300 years ago. It was not until some 400 to 800 years later that civilisations like the Hittites and Mycenaeans, or city-states such as Ugarit, incorporated these innovative methods into their military architecture.
Related: 4.2 kiloyear event, and El Argar.