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Gades (modern-day Cadiz, Spain) was an ancient city located on the island of Erytheia, northwest of Gibraltar at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula and is believed to be one of the most ancient cities still standing in Western Europe. Although some sources place its founding by the Phoenicians of Tyre in the eighth century BCE, other historical records claim that the city was established earlier, around 1100 BCE, as a seasonal trading post, providing the Phoenicians with access to the vast mineral wealth of the area. While historians accept the Phoenician settlement as fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans consider another possibility, believing the site to have been founded as a result of one of the twelve labours of the mythological son of Zeus, Hercules.

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