One of the many attractions and claims for rural tourism in Navarra is its long history, the Tierras de Iranzu offer us their exciting stories about the past of this land and its ancient inhabitants.
The first settlements in Navarra are witnessed by the Lower Palaeolithic findings (600,000 BC to 40,000 BC) of Coscobillo, Urbasa, Estella, Lezáun, Lumbier and Viana. The Bronze Age sowing dolmens and flint workshops the grazing areas; At this time, megalithic architecture is distributed throughout the territory, from Viana, Cirauqui and Artajona, to the Urbasa and Aralar mountains, until reaching the Pyrenean peaks.
History of Tierras de Iranzu
Among the Roman-Basque populations of the future Navarre mentioned by ancient historians, the majority were located between the Pamplona Basin and the Ribera del Ebro. It was the extensive Ager Vasconum that encompassed the Estella, Olite and Tudela merindades. The identification of Andelos, near Mendigorría, left no doubt in the sight of its ruins. Julio Caro Baroja suggested that Viguria de Guesálaz was the ruling place of the first Basque king of Pamplona, Iñigo Arista or Ariesta. Some medieval documents confirm that it was from Bigorra or Bigoria, today Viguria, but because the historiography of the last four centuries insisted that the spelling was Bigorre, all eyes since then have redirected to the region beyond the Pyrenees.
Those Roman villas were the most important, but there had to be others without notoriety on the fringes of the busiest routes, spread through Valleys at the foot of the Urbasa and Andía mountains, intensely Romanized with the arrival of the new owners and lords of the land. . Veteran soldiers who, for having served in the legions in the long war against the peoples of the north of the peninsula, at the end of the 1st century BC, were rewarded with towns, forests and fields. This led Caro Baroja to expose his well-known theory that the place names of towns that end in "ano" and "ain" were derived from the name of their owners, and among the many examples in Navarra he cites three referring to the Valleys: Muniain, which it would grant Munio; Grocin de Grotius and Arguiñano de Argeus. The romanization process in these towns had to be rapid and intense despite the lack of monuments. It is notorious a tombstone embedded in a wall of the parish church of Muez, capital of Guesálaz, in memory of a veteran of the legions, Ordunetsi.