Celtiberia, Castulo (Hispania), Bronze Semis

Date: c. 1st century BCE
Ancient Spain

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Item Description:

Includes glass top display box.

  • Origin: Celtiberian cultures
  • Ruler: None stated
  • Region: Hispania (Spain)
  • Denomination: Semis (bronze)
  • Type: Burgos 881 (in Alvarez Burgos' Catalogo General de Moneda Hispanica)
  • Obverse Design: Diameded head, right, with hand in right field
  • Reverse Design: Sphinx walking right

There is much dispute as to which tribes made up the Celtiberians, a term that refers to multiple cultures, indigenous Iberian tribes, and Celtic migrants. These groups had no central government, but shared a unified Celtiberian language with a range of dialects and the use of the Iberian Alphabet. By the 5th century BCE, the Celtiberians had established their own distinctive culture from the Celts of Central Europe, developing their own art and pottery.

A large number of Celtiberians served as mercenaries during the Punic Wars, at first for the Carthaginians and later for the Romans. Rome would defeat Carthage during the third Punic War, with the Iberians providing critical reinforcement during the conflict. Ultimately, the end of the Punic wars saw the destruction of Carthage and the rise of Rome as the dominant power in the region, and the Celtiberian cultures were eventually absorbed by the Roman Empire.

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