The Iberian peninsula has long been inhabited, before the Roman conquest. During the 1st millennium BC, in the Bronze Age, the first wave of migrations into Iberia of speakers of Indo-European languages occurred. These were later (7th and 5th centuries BC) followed by others that can be identified as Celts. Eventually urban cultures developed in southern Iberia, such as Tartessos, influenced by the Phoenician colonization of coastal Mediterranean Iberia, with strong competition from the Greek colonization. These two processes defined Iberia's cultural landscape – Mediterranean towards the southeast and Continental in the northwest.
The Celtiberians were a group of Celts and Celticized peoples inhabiting the central-eastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. These tribes spoke the Celtiberian language and wrote it by adapting the Iberian alphabet, in the form of the Celtiberian script.
In 195 BC, part of Celtiberia was conquered by the Romans, and by 72 BC the entire region had become part of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior. The subjugated Celtiberians waged a protracted struggle against the Roman conquerors, staging uprisings in 195-193, 181-179, 153-151, and 143-133. In 105 BC, Celtiberian warriors drove the Germanic Cimbri from Spain in the Cimbrian War (113–101 BC) and also played an important role in the Sertorian War (80–72 BC).
The history of ancient Iberian coinage begins as early as the fifth century BC, but widespread minting and circulation in the Iberian peninsula did not begin until late in the third century, during the Second Punic War. Civic coinages - emissions made by individual cities at their own volition - continued under the first two and a half centuries of Roman control until ending in the mid-first century AD. Some non-civic coins were minted on behalf of Roman emperors during this period and continued to be minted after the cessation of the civic coinages. After the cessation of the civic coinages, these Imperial coins were the only coins minted in Iberia until the coins of the Suebi and Visigoths.
Ancient Iberia was connected to the eastern and central Mediterranean, and so there are links to the Greek, Roman and Punic (Carthaginian) civic coinages. Yet there are also many points of difference that reflect dynamics within Iberia itself.