Mirasiviene Stela

A detail of the Mirasiviene stela. Image Marta Díaz-Guardamino.
A detail of the Mirasiviene stela. Image Marta Díaz-Guardamino.

Mirasiviene stela (Seville, Spain) may be regarded as an aid to remember a traditional story, possibly a foundational myth, among Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200-850 BCE) non-literate societies in Southwest Europe. This is a fragment of a large and carefully selected stone that was shaped and engraved by skilful hands. It exhibits striking images: a warrior-like personage accompanied by a sword, an oversized shield, a spear and two smaller human figures. The stela was found on the top of a hill at the outskirts of a contemporary settlement. The prominent and liminal location of the stela, and the existence of countless pottery sherds around it give testimony of the powerful role played by these images among local dwellers. Remembering and mythologizing ancestors entailed performing activities (i.e. erecting a monument, engraving images, depositing offerings) that contributed to the crafting of their sense of belonging to a group, a place and a territory, and also conveyed this information to ‘outsiders’.


Harrison, R. J. 2004. Symbols and Warriors. Images of the European Bronze Age, Bristol: Western Academics & Specialist Press Ltd.

Díaz-Guardamino, M. 2013. Late Bronze Age Stelae, Craftspeople and Digital Technologies: Some Recent Explorations http://acrg.soton.ac.uk/blog/2887/

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