The Power of Borders and Borders of Power: Towards a Definition of Political Borders in Prehistoric Societies
Borders shape and structure our world, but how did they come to exist in the first place? This dissertation studies how borders appeared for the first time in the Early Bronze Age in south-eastern Iberia (2200-1550 BCE). The study focuses on the archaeological sites of the El Argar culture, a society that reached hitherto unprecedented levels of social stratification and today is regarded as one of the first states in Europe. Despite this, most of the systematic archaeological excavations have been carried out in the so-called Argaric core area, while the Argaric frontier has been largely neglected. This dissertation draws on new data from systematic archaeological survey, in order to reconstruct the historical dynamic of the El Argar border on a spatial and socio-political level. My research seeks to contribute to the understanding of how borders between prehistoric groups were constructed and their impact on the prehistoric population of south-eastern Iberia.