The Astures were the original Indo-European inhabitants of the northwest area of Hispania that now comprises almost the entire modern autonomous community of Asturias and the modern provinces León, and northern Zamora (all in Spain), and west of Trás os Montes in Portugal. The name was used until the foundation of the Kingdom of Asturias.Along with their fellow neighbours Gallaeci Lucenses and Braccarenses (see Gallaecia) they spoke a Q-Celtic tongue.Fact|date=May 2007 Most of their peoples, like the Lugones, worshipped the Celtic god Lugh, and references to other Celtic deities like Taranis or Belenos still remain in the toponomy of the places inhabited by the Astures. Other scholars believe they were related to Ligures.

From the Roman point-of-view, expressed in the brief remarks of the historians Florus, epitomising Livy, and Orosius, there were two different factions within the Astures, following the natural division made by the alpine karst mountains of the Picos de Europa: "Transmontani" (located in the modern Asturias, "beyond" and north of the Picos de Europa) and "Cismontani" (located on the "near" side in the modern area of León). The Transmontani tribes were mainly located between the Navia River and the central massif of the Picos de Europa and the Cismontani surrounded Asturica Augusta, the main Astur town in Roman times, and the "Astura" river (the modern Esla).

Some of the known transmontani astur peoples are: "Lugones", "Pesicos", "Cilurnigos", "Vincianos" and "Viromenicos". Known cismontani tribes are: "Lancienses", "Orniacos" and "Supertios".

Mode of life

The Astures were hunters and gatherers who also engaged in complementary agriculture. During a large part of the year they used the acorn as a staple food source, drying and powdering it and using the flour for a type of easily preserved bread. Their sown fields during the pre-Roman period were scarce. From them they harvested barley from which they produced beer, as well as other crops, like wheat and flax. Due to the scarcity of their agricultural production as well as their strong war-like character, they made frequent incursions into the lands of the Vacceos, who had a much more developed agriculture. Lucan calls them ' Paleseekers after gold ' (Astur scrutator pallidus aim).

According to classic authors, their family structure was matrilineal, wherein the woman inherits and is the owner of property.

The Astures lived in hill forts, established in strategic areas and built with round walls in today's Asturias and the mountainous areas of León, and with rectangular walls in flatter areas, similarly to their fellow Galicians, the Lucensis and the Bracarensis

Astur-Cantabrian Wars

Along with their Cantabri neighbours, they were the last free tribes to fall to Romans in Hispania during the Astur-Cantabrian Wars (29 - 19 BC) in Gallaecia. The Roman campaign against the Astures (the "Bellum Asturicum") began in 25 BC and lasted for ten years.

ee also

*Asturian people
*Astur-Cantabrian Wars
*Castro culture
*Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula

External links

* [ Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC)]

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