Tartessos (Greek Τάρτησσος ) was in the classical tradition, a kingdom or a port town on the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula, west of the mouth of the Guadalquivir River of the Strait of Gibraltar. The city was known in antiquity for its legendary metal wealth. The wealth of Tartessos silver made ​​into a kind of Eldorado of antiquity. The legendary King Arganthonios to have given his friends, threatened by the Persians Phokaiern, new walls for their hometown, Herodotus ( Hdt. I 163). There is speculation that Tartessos with the fabulous, rich city of the Phaeacians - from Homer's Odyssey - connect. Also, equating with the Atlantis described by Plato is considered by most popular scientific side.

It is believed that the mentioned in several places of the Old Testament place Tarshish (Hebrew תַּרְשִׁישׁ ) is identical with Tartessos.

In modern history, the endbronzezeitliche and Early Iron Age culture of southern Spain, between the Guadiana River in the west and Cabo de la Nao in the east and the Sierra Morena to the north, called tartessisch. The core area was in the lower Guadalquivir valley. The development of this culture is of ostmediterranem influence - is the trading Phoenicians, mainly from Tyre, the v. from the 9th century BC detectable - coined. As potential founders were the Etruscans. Urban trains, that is, structured and fortified settlements appeared in the 8th century. In the 6th or early 5th century BC, the culture breaks off, maybe it was destroyed by the Carthaginians, previously the colony of Gadir had (now Cadiz ) founded on an island off the Guadalete estuary.

The German archaeologist Adolf Schulten grub 1905-1911 by Tartessos, but found it only the ruins of an independent predecessor culture from the 26th to the 13th century BC

After reviewing the previous results José María Luzon Nogué situate first Tartessos Huelva at today ( at the mouth of the Odiel / Rio Tinto ). With the find a pot of gold at El Carambolo in September 1958 ( three kilometers west of Seville ) and in La Joya, Huelva, the archaeological and philological clues to the Tartessian culture shifted into the Early Iron Age western Andalusia, Extremadura and southern Portugal from the Algarve to the vinalopó flow of Alicante. During excavations in the center of Huelva richly painted sherds were found with Greek motifs, which come from the first half of the 6th century. The large amounts of imported artisanal goods suggest that today's Huelva was a significant tarte sian center. In Medellín, the Guadiana, an important necropolis was discovered.