The Phoenicians and Carthaginians colonised the Mediterranean coast in the 8th to 6th centuries BC. The Greeks later also established colonies along the coast. The Romans arrived in the 2nd century BC.
The Imperial Roman province called Tarraconensis, supplanted Hispania Citerior, which had been ruled by a consul under the late Republic, in Augustus's reorganization of 27 BC.
The invasion resulted in widespread exploitation of metals, especially gold, tin and silver. The alluvial gold mines at Las Medulas show that Roman engineers worked the deposits on a very large scale using several aqueducts up to 30 miles (48 km) long to tap water in the surrounding mountains. By running fast water streams on the soft rocks, they were able to extract large quantities of gold by hydraulic mining methods. When the gold had been exhausted, they followed the auriferous seams underground by tunnels using fire-setting to break up the much harder gold-bearing rocks. Pliny the Elder gives a good account of the methods used in Hispania, presumably based on his own observations.
The most popular deity in Hispania was Isis, followed by Magna Mater, the great mother. The Carthaginian-Phoenician deities Melqart (both a solar deity and a sea-god) and Tanit-Caelestis (a mother-queen with possible lunar connections) were also popular. The Roman pantheon quickly absorbed native deities through identification (Melqart became Hercules, for example, having long been taken by the Greeks as a variant of their Heracles). Ba‘al Hammon was the chief god at Carthage and was also important in Hispania. The Egyptian gods Bes and Osiris had a following as well.
Bagnall, R., J. Drinkwater, A. Esmonde-Cleary, W. Harris, R. Knapp, S. Mitchell, S. Parker, C. Wells, J. Wilkes, R. Talbert, M. E. Downs, M. Joann McDaniel, B. Z. Lund, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 991326 (Tarraconensis)". Pleiades. Retrieved March 8, 2012.