The village of Las Eretas is what in archaeology is known as a ‘tell’ (an artificial mound made of archaeological remains); it stands on an agriculturally fertile alluvial plain, next to the mighty river which created it, but, wisely, beyond its floodplain. The continuity of the settlement at this location for almost three thousand years, the urban area of Berbinzana partially overlapping it, means that only the lower part of the site – its earlier part – has reached our days in optimal conditions of conservation, not exempt from some vertical post-depositional intrusions detected during the excavation process, which have had little spatial impact.
The location of Las Eretas on a plain does not meet the usual requirements of the Iron Age settlement pattern in the Arga valley, where villages tended to occupy high places (summits, buttes, edges of high terraces or sloping reliefs), as occurs at other contemporary sites discovered in the nearby localities of Mendigorría, Larraga, Artajona, Miranda de Arga, Faces and Peralta.
From the information collected, everything seems to indicate that Las Eretas was created from scratch on the alluvial plain of the Arga at the dawn of the Iron Age by a small group, perhaps a family, detached from some other village or hilltop castro in the region whose origin more clearly dates back to the Late Bronze Age. The relative stratigraphy concludes that it did not take shape spontaneously, but that a predetermined design was used which established the urban layout of the settlement, given that the wall which encloses the buildings was built first and the earliest houses were clearly constructed against it.