5 June 1921. Spain attends with some somnolence to the escalation of violence that will lead to the famous colonial disaster of Annual. As expected, this situation resonates like a more distant echo in rural Galicia, where the only revolution are the sporadic but typical downpours of the last days of spring. However, the peaceful place of “A Cibdade”, located on the north bank of the Limia River, receives a rare visit. This time, not only the inhabitants of the close villages of Portoquintela and Baños de Bande come to dig the land, but also four particularly well-dressed figures are approaching. They are Ramón Otero Pedrayo, Florentino López Cuevillas and Vicente Risco, prominent Galicianist intellectuals from the capital city of Ourese. The fouth well-known person is Farruco Pena, a local lawyer.
Campos is situated on the outskirts of São Pedro da Torre (Valença, Portugal), on the banks of the Minho River. Here, the Galicians built a star-shaped fortification, the fort of San Luís Gonzaga, during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640-1668). In order to cut the advance of these troops on Portuguese lands the Portuguese elaborated a strategy. As the chronicles narrate, they built a series of watchtowers and fortresses, equidistant from the fort’s by a cannon shot.
Today (02/23/2016) we take advantage of the launch of Santiago Posteguillo‘s “La Legión Perdida” –the last episode of the trilogy dedicated to Roman emperor Trajan-. This is a good opportunity to carry out a small reflection on the role played by the historical novels in popularizing the Roman army.
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).
Since its very beginning the Spanish historiography has paid a great attention to the Cantabrian and Asturian Wars. From the end of the XXth century onwards, the development of the Roman military archaeology have brought a remarkable transformation of the studies on this subject. However, sometimes the modern analysis on this topic have been excessively positivist and they do not delve into the socio-political and cultural dimensions of the war.
The camp of Moyapán (Ayande, Asturias) was discovered by chance in 2007, as we analysed the aerial photographs covering one of the most important Roman mining areas of western Asturias. It was the second Roman enclosure recognized in Asturias after El Picu Curriel.los (L.lena/Ayer) and it led our way on the investigation of the presence of the Roman army in Asturias and León.
Last Thursday (17/12) was presented in Gijón/Xixón the book Las Guerras Astur-Cántabras. It contains the proceedings of the First Archaeological Meeting of the Asturian-Cantabrian Wars (held in Gijón/Xixón in October 2014), where several researchers presented the latest archaeological developments on the matter. Jorge Camino Mayor, Eduardo Peralta Labrador and Jesús Francisco Torres Martínez coordinate this volume and KRK ediciones is its publisher. Some of the sites by us located in recent times all throughout Galicia, Asturias and Leon are analysed in three papers.
This is the paper we presented at the 23th Limes Congress, held in Ingolstadt (Germany) in September 2015. There we showed the results of a research about the Roman military presence in north-western Iberia developed by us in the recent past years as well as overall review on the subject showing how the discipline has changed due to the employment of remote sensing techniques like the aerial and satellite imagery or the aerial LiDAR. This website presents a new perspective about the roman military campaigns during the conquest in augustean times of the northern territories of Cantabria and Asturias and the subsequent reorganization of the north-westernmost region of Iberia.
Even if the audio of the video is English you can change the language of the subtitles by clicking the icon of a little grind placed below near the right corner. Since this is an interactive video you can also download KMZ files with additional graphic information of every single archaeological site we talk about. You need to install Google Earth software in order to visualize these files.
At this website you can also see highlined some of the more interesting conclusions of the public paper, in which 17 new Roman military sites were presented.
In this map you can see our proposal on the presence of the Roman army in the northwest of Hispania in 2015. Along with already investigated previously published sites, we added seventeen new locations exhibiting denser Roman military contingents presence, possible new lines progress in Asturias and the first appearances of possible marching camps in the territory of present Galicia.
Our research shows a special concentration of military camps in the westernmost part of Asturias. They follow the very same settlement patterns previously detected in some other scenarios located at the Cantabrian and central-eastern Asturian regions. Although the bibliography and the ancient sources are very silent about the existence of specific war scenarios in this area, the archaeological evidences clearly show the existence of a route flanking the Asturian mountains and probably linked with the augustan campaigns or the subsequent post-war times.