Publications, Sites

The Roman Camp of A Serra da Casiña (Valboa, León)

A Serra da Casiña vista desde el sudeste.
A Serra da Casiña from the southeast.

Alongside the paper of our colleague José M. Costa, the latest issue of the magazine Arkeogazte contains a work signed by some members of our team. There we present a preliminary study of a Roman camp or castra aestiua recently identified in the place known as A Serra da Casiña (Valboa, Leon).

In this paper we describe the constructive evidences and spatial context of the camp located in the vicinity of the village of Valverde described. The fortified enclosure (11-12 hectares) was briefly occupied by a Roman military detachment. Even if we cannot ensure when it was founded, it could be related to the period of conquest and pacification of the mountains of El Bierzo, in the last years of the first century B. C. As on previous occasions, the detection of this site was possible thanks to the use of remote sensing techniques as aerial and satellite photographs or the LiDAR technology, which has started a revolution in the archeological analysis of mountainous areas with dense vegetation canopies like the north-western Iberian mountains.

Visión da lomba desde o leste. Visualización LiDAR.
The mountain from the east. LiDAR visualization.

As we stated, the precise date of foundation of this military site cannot be specified by now: the lack of funding make difficult to plan archaeological field interventions to answer such questions. However, the location of this camp reinforces the role played by the mountainous area that currently separates the provinces of Leon and Lugo during the Roman conquest and exploitation of this territory. It could also open the debate on the extension towards the west of the theater of the Astur-Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC).

El campamento desde el sudoeste. Visualización Resampling Filter de los datos LiDAR.
The Roman camp from the southwest. LiDAR Resampling Filter visualization.

The enclosure of A Serra da Casiña becomes another milestone for the archaeological research in the province of Leon and it joins a list of Roman temporary camps in constant expansion –which includes sites like Huerga de Frailes (Villazala) or A Granda das Xarras (Candín)- thanks to the patient work of several archaeologists engaged in the study of the conquest and romanization of the northwestern territories of the Iberian Peninsula.

El recinto militar: visualizaciones LiDAR y planimetría.
The military enclosure: LiDAR visualizations and plan.

Here you can download the full paper.

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