An unusual Iberian building

The Perengil is an unusual construction in the Iberian architecture. Its functionality remains today a small mystery for archaeological research.
At this moment, the most plausible hypothesis, by its chronology and situation, is that of a strategic enclave at the time of the Second Punic War that faced Carthaginians and Romans.
It is worth visiting it to contemplate the surroundings and imagine the history that this place treasures.
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Archaeological documentation

The Perengil is an isolated building on the top of a hill above the Vinaròs plain.  This site has contributed more questions than answers, due to the peculiar architecture that it presents in relation to the Iberian Period in which it is dated, and to the scarce and fragmented remains found during the excavations.

The external side and the structure

The building presents a sidewalk ground on the outside east and south sides.  The entrance to the enclosure is in the northeast corner, giving access to an originally paved corridor that leads to a second space, forming an angled access.  This type of entrance in elbow is one of the peculiarities of the building, since it is not common in constructions of that time.

The rectangular plant tower (11'20 x 14'89 m) was built on a base made of masonry and large blocks of limestone. The perimeter wall reaches the considerable thickness of 1.70 m. It is assumed that the upper elevation of the wall continued with a mud wall and was finished, as was usual in the Iberians, by a wooden roof and entwined branches.

The inside

The aforementioned elbow entrance gives access to a surface divided into four spaces, one of them central.

In the main room there are masonry constructions, apparently without any concrete functionality: two circular structures, and a third rectangular one. This same room has a hearth and a staircase of masonry that gave possibly access to a loft.

Next to the staircase you can find the access door to a second side room on which the raised floor was located.

Almost at the end of the main room there is a small space that does not reach the square meter, delimited by masonry walls. Behind this space there is another regular sized room.


The material provided by this site is very scarce and fragmented. We mainly find painted Iberian ceramics using a potter’s wheel and cooking ceramics.

As for the import ceramics, it is necessary to emphasize the one originally from the Punic trade, an Ibizan amphora, and those of italic origin, represented by fragments of Greek-italic amphorae and black lacquered ceramics. This imported pottery indicates a chronological period placed between the last decade of the 3rd century B.C and the first two of the following century.


The main question of this site is its specific functionality, since it has been very difficult to attribute a concrete use, due on the one hand to the scarce material found, and on the other hand, to the singularity of the construction itself, which has no Architectural parallels in other Iberian sites.

Its entrance in elbow and especially the thickness of its perimeter walls suggest that it could correspond to strategic construction, a defense tower or a watchtower. Its geographical location was certainly strategic and would allow great visibility on the possible surrounding communication routes.

On the other hand, the masonry structures of the main room are reminiscent of a building intended for worship.

By the chronology deduced from the ceramic finds, and following the hypothesis of the military use, the building can be related, with regard to its construction and brief occupation, to the Second Punic War that faced Romans and Carthaginians.  This confrontation is usually dated between 218 B.C, date on which Rome declared the war after the destruction of Sagunto, and 201 B.C, when the Carthaginian general Hannibal and the Roman general, and later senator, Scipio the African agreed the surrender of Carthage.

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