Linguistics map of the Iberian Peninsula 1000-2000 AD

When language isolates are discussed, people often assume they are some weird, unique language that just sprung out of nowhere. It’s much more likely that these languages (like Basque) were parts of must larger families that died out. In this gif, you can see how Castilian overwhelms Iberia, which had been primarily speaking Arabic - Mozarabic. Even at that time, Basque was already a fairly small language. So what did the language landscape look like before Arabic - Mozarabic was the dominant language family?

I don’t know, but language has been around a lot longer than we have historical accounts, and it’s reasonable to think that Basque’s language family was once spoken in a much wider area. Who knows, maybe it originates from a language family that dominated Europe before Germanic and Romance languages existed. In any case, we no longer can trace it back to connect it to the languages in Europe today.

Celtic Iron Dagger with Scabbard, Early 1st ML BC

An iron dagger with T-shaped pommel with two small roundels to the ends, central rib with hatched design and rivets to the side; long handle and small cross guard with long, stiletto blade; long sheath with roundels to the edges and collar below and large roundel at the end; entire surface decorated with guilloche pattern; Iberian workmanship.

The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain. The term Celtiberi appears in accounts by Diodorus Siculus, Appian and Martial who recognized intermarriage between Celts and Iberians after a period of continuous warfare.

The Celtiberians were the most influential ethnic group in pre-Roman Iberia, but they had their largest impact on history during the Second Punic War, during which they became the allies of Carthage in its conflict with Rome, and crossed the Alps in the mixed forces under Hannibal’s command. As a result of the defeat of Carthage, the Celtiberians first submitted to Rome in 195 BC; Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus spent the years 182 to 179 BC pacifying the Celtiberians; however, conflicts between various semi-independent bands of Celtiberians continued. After the city of Numantia was finally taken and destroyed by Scipio Aemilianus Africanus the Younger after a long and brutal siege that ended the Celtic resistance (154 – 133 BC), Roman cultural influences increased. The Sertorian War, 80 – 72 BC, marked the last formal resistance of the Celtiberian cities to Roman domination, which submerged the Celtiberian culture.

Don Afonso the Conqueror 

The 1st King of Portugal

Portugal’s first flag was a blue cross on a white background, which was emblematically used on Don Afonso’s shields and garments.

His most famous victory was in 1139 at the battle of Ourique, where he defeated the armies of 5 Muslim Kings, during the Reconquista in Iberia.


bet you thought i was dead huh (i kind of thought so too)

anyways, here’s a stress draw of the iberian brothers- i imagine them as a pair of troublemakers with an intense love/hate rivalry…

The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta. They came from Morocco, western Algeria, the Western Sahara, and Mauritania. The Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and called the territory Al-Andalus, an area which at different times comprised most of Spain and Portugal and parts of France. The initial rule of the Moors in the Iberian peninsula under this Caliphate of Córdoba was regarded as tolerant in its acceptance of Christians, Muslims and Jews living together in the same territories. The Moors left a rich cultural legacy in Spain & Portugal, as seen through Moorish architecture such as La Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra Palace. Religious difference of the Moorish Muslims led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe called the Reconquista. The Fall of Granada in 1492 saw the end of the Muslim rule in Iberia. 

For More Information Search: Moors; Caliphate of Córdoba; Alhambra Palace, Reconquista; Ferdinand & Isabella; The Fall of Granada

This work examines the debt owed by Europe to the Moors for the Renaissance and the significant role played by the African in the Muslim invasions of the Iberian peninsula. While it focuses mainly on Spain and Portugal, it also examines the races and roots of the original North African before the later ethnic mix of the blackamoors and tawny Moors in the medieval period. The study ranges from the Moor in the literature of Cervantes and Shakespeare to his profound influence upon Europe’s university system and the diffusion via this system of the ancient and medieval sciences. The Moors are shown to affect not only European mathematics and map-making, agriculture and architecture, but their markets, their music and their machines. The ethnicity of the Moor is re-examined, as is his unique contribution, both as creator and conduit, to the first seminal phase of the industrial revolution.

It’s a Geological Life: Spain Edition

Day 3: It was a hella long day… with GEOLOGY

For Stage 1, click here

Stage 2: Cap de Creus to Olot, Volcanism of the Quaternary la Garrotxa Volcanic Field

Here is what I imagine the volcanoes to look like:

Here is what I actually saw:

After the unexpected but not surprising hike, the volcanoes were kind of disappointing. 


The La Garrotxa Volcanic Field forms part of the Catalan Volcanic Zone (north-east Iberian Peninsula), one of the alkaline volcanic provinces of the European rift system. It harbors more than 50 basaltic monogenetic cones that range in age from Middle Pleistocene to the Early Holocene. The Garrotxa Volcanic Fields is made up of cinder and scoria cones, lava flows, tuff rings and maars. The volcanic products are strongly silica-undersaturated to nearly silica-saturated compositions: leucite, basanites, nepheline basanites and alkali olivine basalts. Eruption sequences differ from one cone to another and did not follow a common eruption pattern. The complex eruptive behavior may be related to the differing stratigraphic, structural and hydrogeological characteristics of the substrate below each volcano rather than to any differences in the physicochemistry of the erupting magmas, which are fairly homogeneous throughout the Garrotxa Volcanic Field.

Tectonically, the cones formed between two normal faults, the Amer and Lloria. My professor laughed at the geophysicists that studied the volcanic field because of this picture: 

My professor says the question marks throughout the cross section is a good example on why geophysicist is mostly arm waving (which it is not true). 

After Day 3, my feet had some nice blisters. Stage 3 was driving on our lovely stinky bus to the next hostel in Sort, Lleida.

For Day 2, click here

References:  (Bolos, X., Planaguma, Ll., and Marti, J., 2014. Volcanic stratigraphy of the Quaternary La Garrotxa Volcanic
Field (north-east Iberian Peninsula). Journal of Quaternary Science, 29 (6), 547-560.)