The Iberian settlements of Lleida

The ilergetes were one of the Iberian tribes that occupied the territory called Ilergecia , whose capital was Iltirta, present-day Lleida . Some 2,700 years ago, these tribes lived in towns that used to be on hills and surrounded by walls, for defensive reasons. These walls were characterized by having the defense towers in a circular or square shape, and the narrow outer gates, for a better defense of the town.

Lleida is an example of an originally Iberian city, since it had a small walled town on the Roca Subirana . Another sample is the ruins of Gebut , in Soses (Segrià), Molí de l’Espígol , in Tornabous (Urgell), els Vilars , in Arbeca (Les Garrigues) and many others scattered throughout the region.

Els Vilars (Arbeca), constitutes one of the unique towns in all Europe. Apparently, an enigmatic society erected an impregnable fortress in this town located 4 kilometers from Arbeca. At that time, the weapons were somewhat rudimentary, so its immense wall was the best guarantee for an effective defense. With five meters wide, twelve defense towers and a moat four meters deep by thirteen wide, archaeologists wonder why a wall of these characteristics. Taking into account that we are in the middle of the Iron Age , this type of wall, due to its magnitude, would have endured medieval combat. The invention of the catapult was still far away.

From the remains found, it is also known that it was a small and rich society. In addition to cultivating the land, raising horses was one of the activities of the ilergetes in Els Vilars. However, in 350 BC, the town was abandoned for unknown reasons. There are no signs of battle and the perimeter of the fortress, as well as the delimitation of the houses, remains intact.

Molí de l’Espígol , is one of the most important sites in Catalonia since it constitutes one of the most evolved urban examples among the ilergetes. The city is divided into two well-differentiated spaces: on the one hand is the urban area, with visible remains that can be visited, and on the other, the suburban area, which extends beyond the walls. In the southwestern part you can still see the existence of an old pond, possibly used for water supply.

Its moment of splendor is located between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC , a time in which the town experienced significant growth, becoming a key point in the capitalization of the territory, where a certain political power resided. Later, around the year 200 and on the occasion of the Second Punic War, the deterioration of the city began.

Gebut (Soses), also cited in some Greco-Latin writings for the importance of its princes Indibil and Mandoni . At 500 meters from the urban nucleus, there are the vestiges of this, no less, important ilergete town that appears practically complete, with a central road, transversal streets and the plant of the buildings.

There are numerous finds from different periods in history that have appeared in the area. From the remains of bones of fossilized mammals, tortoise shells from the Tertiary era to vestiges of the Roman era and a Saracen castle that corroborates the Islamic origin of the population of Sosses. The crocodile fossil of more than 35 million years , in an excellent state of conservation, is exhibited in the library of the population.