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Facts about the Iberian Peninsula for Kids

The Iberian Peninsula, commonly called Iberia, is the third-largest European peninsula; it is located in the extreme southwest of the continent. There are three countries in it: SpainPortugal, and Andorra, as well as a part of France and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

  • The Iberian Peninsula is the westernmost of the three major southern European peninsulas—the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan.
  • It is bordered on the southeast and east by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the north, west, and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Pyrenees mountains form the northeast edge of the peninsula, separating it from the rest of Europe.
  • Its southern tip is very close to the northwest coast of Africa, separated from it by the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Strabo’s Iberia was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass southwest of there.
  • Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name.
  • Here, this genetically homogeneous population (characterized by the M173 mutation in the Y-chromosome), developed the M343 mutation, giving rise to the R1b Haplogroup, still the most common in modern Portuguese and Spanish males.
  • Around 2800 – 2700 BC, the Bell Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.
  • After that point, the modern position was reached and the peninsula now consists of the countries of Spain and Portugal, Andorra, French Cerdagne and Gibraltar.
  • It is ringed by mountains and contains the sources of most of the rivers, which find their way through gaps in the mountain barriers on all sides.
  • It is divided into three subsystems: Prebaetic System, which begins west of the Sierra Sur de Jaén, reaching the Mediterranean Sea shores in Alicante Province.