Revolutionary discoveries from Bronze Age Iberia: recent work on the Argaric world
In the Mediterranean region there are relatively few integrated, specialist research teams enga- ged in long-term and ongoing field- work. One of these rare and productive scientific collaborations is the ASOME (Arqueoecología Social Mediterránea, or Mediterranean Social Archaeoecology) group from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. The three volumes under review are authored by this team's lead researchers, and represent the first book-length publications from a long-term research project (2009–) on the Earlier Bronze Age El Argar culture (2200–1550 BC). They report the results of several excavations in the province of Murcia, Spain, supported by a combination of public and private funding. This ambitious initiative addresses ground-breaking research questions and offers solid and sustainable solutions for the conservation and preservation of these formerly neglected sites. Its aims, as summarised on the project's website, are: to create a systematic archive of information on the dispersed collections from earlier investigations; to undertake large-scale fieldwork on a series of key sites and to develop their public presentation; and to lay the foundations for an interdisciplinary research centre on prehistoric and Mediterranean archaeology (http://www.la-bastida.com).