Courtesy of Sebastián Celestino and Carolina López-Ruiz

The 6,400-square-foot religious sanctuary at the Spanish site of Cancho Roano, as seen in this reconstruction drawing, was built over the ruins of three other sanctuaries, the earliest one dating to the end of the seventh century B.C. Abandoned at the end of the fifth century B.C., the final sanctuary (Sanctuary A) was a two-story complex enclosed by a moat and entered through an imposing gateway consisting of two trapezoid-shaped towers.

The four Cancho Roano sanctuaries were built by a native Iberian people later called the Tartessians. Eclectic by nature, the Tartessians borrowed a number of elements (such as their altar designs) from eastern Mediterranean sources, particularly the Phoenicians, who first arrived in the region around the end of the ninth century B.C.