Penedo dos Lobos: próximo obxectivo de investigación

O verán de romanarmy é un non parar! Entre o 20 e o 26 de agosto estaremos traballando nun dos recintos militares máis interesantes aparecidos nos últimos anos: Penedo dos Lobos, no concello de Manzaneda. O noso compañeiro e investigador do Instituto de Ciencias do Patrimonio (Incipit) do CSIC João Fonte, dirixirá o equipo que investigará entre o 20 e o 26 de agosto de 2018 un dos recintos militares de campaña mellor conservados do noroeste peninsular. O obxectivo é estudar en detalle a morfoloxía do xacemento e o seu encaixe no proceso de conquista e control do noroeste peninsular por parte do Imperio Romano. A campaña está promovida polo Instituto de Ciencias do Patrimonio (Incipit) do CSIC, o concello de Manzaneda, e o Grupo de Investigación Síncrisis, do Departamento de Historia da Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.

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While João explores the Roman conquest of Dacia, Rebeca digs early modern age fortifications in Northern Portugal, and Jesús and Jose investigate the hillfort of Cerro Castarreño in Olmillos de Sasamón, our colleagues David González Álvarez y Valentín Álvarez Martínez are in the field exploring in the mountains of Babia (León), together with Jorge Canosa Betés and some Archaeology students from the Complutense University of Madrid and Durham University (United Kingdom)..

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General perspective of the Orăştie Mountains (photo credit Dr. Ioana Oltean)

At the moment I’m doing fieldwork in Romania as part of a collaboration project between the University of Exeter, UK (Dr. Ioana Oltean) and the Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Prof. dr. Gelu A. Florea), and within the framework of my current postdoctoral project.

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We are back in the lands of the Odra-Pisuerga. As you may remember, we explored some Roman military structures located in the area of Sasamón (Burgos) in August 2017, always under the impressive presence of Cerro Castarreño. At its summit there is an oppidum – a large hillfort – which our colleague Jesús García began to survey in 2008 for his doctoral thesis, recovering then numerous material evidences related to the Second Iron Age. In addition, the aerial photographs taken in 2011 and 2012, the geophysical survey of 2017 and a new flight with drone in 2018 revealed the presence of some anomalies in one of the plateau’s corners which could correspond to a trench and a stone wall. This possible fortification is of great interest to us, since this region played an important role in the early stages of the Astur-Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC), as various classical authors mention. Therefore, we are interested in understanding the occupation sequence and abandonment of this pre-Roman settlement (probably the Segisama of the Turmogi people) in a context of an already attested heavy Roman military presence.

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El trabajo de laboratorio de no es sólo arqueológico! Seguimos procesando datos sobre nuestra intervención en el campamento romano de A Penaparda (A Fonsagrada). Ya sabéis que en nuestro colectivo no sólo tratamos de innovar con tecnologías para localizar sitios arqueológicos, sino también en el propio proceso de comunicación.

Aquí os presentamos nuestro primer vídeo en 360º, en el que tú estás en el centro de nuestra experiencia arqueológica. Es un experimento audiovisual que te lleva a nuestro trabajo en A Fonsagrada, siguiendo el camino del equipo desde el bar en el que desayunamos hasta el coche en el que marchamos del campamento. Nos puedes ver interpretando los sondeos, y también las estructuras que se distinguían sobre el terreno.

Intentamos sacar provecho de algunas de las posibilidades de la tecnología de grabación en 360º y ver cómo nos pueden ayudar a contar mejor la práctica de la arqueología. Aún es un experimento, en el que debemos mejorar muchas cosas, pero es una de las primeras experiencias en España (que nosotros sepamos) en emplear esta técnica para contar historias de trabajo de campo en arqueología. Y ya os adelantamos que no será la última.

< strong>¿Cómo verlo?strong>

Pues de muchas maneras. La mejor es con el móvil, unas gafas de realidad virtual y unos auriculares. Esa es la manera de estar más cerca de nosotros en el vídeo. 😉 Pero también con el móvil, si lo mueves a tu redor, podrás experimentar también la dimensión espacial.

A new volume of the scientific Journal Gallaecia. Revista de arqueoloxía e antigüidade, edited by the History Department of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, has been released. It contains a paper in which four new Roman military sites located within the provinces Lugo and Ourense have been published. These sites reveal an active Roman military presence in the area and could help to understand the historical processes of conquest and absorption of these territories by the Roman empire. From the discovery of the site of A Recacha (Navia de Suarna) in 2011 onwards, up to 17 new Roman military sites have been detected -totally or partially- in Galicia, although some have not been publicly released yet. We must stress that the early Roman empire forts of A Cidadela (Sobrado dos Monxes, A Coruña) and Bande (Ourense) are also situated in Galicia.

The Roman camp of Penedo dos Lobos.

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I keep watching one of the pictures taken by the drone on Saturday morning. The very same picture you saw posted on facebook these past days and was warmly welcome by you. I cannot take my eyes off it because it makes me travel to my student years, when I used to look over the pages of St Joseph, Swan, Davies, Breeze, Birley, and many other British scholars. They were full of illustrations in which the grazing light enhanced the parapets of perfect Roman camps over the green fields. I used to thought then if it would be possible one day to find something like that in Galicia. We do now know that it is possible. And this is far from being over.

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Un dos obxectivos científicos da intervención no campamento romano de A Penaparda é verificar unha hipótese de traballo: a dunha posible liña de avance dun continxente militar romano nas montañas da fronteira entre Galicia e Asturias (aínda que non sabemos en que dirección ou con que obxectivos exactos se desprazaban, ou cando). Catro sitios localizados nos últimos anos polo noso equipo formarían parte desta liña, e podedes velos aquí:

Son A Penaparda, que xa coñecedes destes días, e estes outros tres:

Pico El Outeiro:

A Pedra Dereta:

Chao de Carrubeiro:

Santiago de Compostela, Friday 29th September 2017. Archaeologists from different European universities and research institutions bring together by the collective will study a Roman camp located in the Galician town of A Fonsagrada (Lugo) during the first week of October. This site was discovered by the end of 2015 and named A Penaparda after the hill where it is placed (865 m above sea level). The enclosure delimits an area of about 10 ha, circa 12 football pitches, and it is therefore one of the largest examples of temporary camps in Galicia. However, part of belongs nowadays to the neighbouring town of Santa Eulalia de Oscos, Asturias. The project, promoted by A Fonsagrada Twn Council and the Lugo Provincial Government, is managed by Síncrisis research group (Department of History, University of Santiago de Compostela) and also supported by the Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit, CSIC).

Part of a military route

According to the researchers, the enclosure of A Penaparda would be a Roman temporary camp of early imperial times (centuries I BC-III AD), and it is large enough to have garrisoned an entire legion (ca. 5000 men). The site is nowadays quite deteriorated due to the agricultural activities, and that makes it practically invisible on surface. Fortunately, the use of aerial photographs and LiDAR technology has allowed the detection of its playing card shape and of some of the original accesses to the fortification, which show the classical clauiculae features.

The archaeologists think that A Penaparda could be part of a route across the Asturian-Galician Mountains used by a major Roman military detachment. The aim of the archaeological campaign will a better chronological characterisation of this camp. A study on A Penaparda and other new military sites in Galicia will be soon released in the next number of Gallaecia, a journal published by the Department of Historia of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

Unha nova visión da conquista romana do noroeste peninsular is a research collective integrated by several archaeologists, researchers, professors and other Heritage professionals coming from research institutions such as the universities of Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo (Spain), Braga (Portugal), Durham, Exeter, Newcastle, Edinburgh (UK) or Leiden (The Netherlands). Their main goal is to study the Roman military presence in NW Iberia, stressing the historical phenomena and episodes linked with the conquest of these territories in Augustan times. Until nt so many years ago, the study of the Roman Army in this region was focused on territories such as Asturias, Cantabria or León, but the collective has been able to locate several previously unknown Roman sites in Galicia too.

Dissemination activities
Among the dissemination activities planned for this campaign, we can stress the daily live broadcast from the site by using Facebook Live, or other communication experiments, such as the 360º recording of a brief archaeological documentary to be visualised by using VR glasses. You can also read the news on the collective’s website:

Some local events have been also planned in order to reinforce the scientific diffusion of these archaeological activities: on Friday 6th, a lecture will take place at the Os Chaos Conference Hall at 19:00 UTM+2, and on Saturday 7th October, a guided visit to the site will start from the parish church of San Cibrán da Trapa at 11 UTM+2

Análise visual de Outeiro de Circo. Foto: Rebeca Blanco

Exactamente iso foi o que pensamos nada máis chegar á casa, logo de descargar todas as cousas no laboratorio, gardar equipos e ferramentas e, por suposto, darlle unha lavada ao coche, que trouxo consigo medio val do Támega en forma de po. Rebeca adoita facer un cálculo, moi polo aire, segundo o cal por cada semana de traballo en campo correspóndense tres de gabinete, isto é, de procesado dos datos recollidos. Pero claro, falamos de semanas correntes, eses unicornios brancos con xornadas diarias de 8 horas, practicamente inexistentes en arqueoloxía.

Queda moito por facer, por iso foi importante organizarse canto antes. En primeiro lugar tivemos que xuntar todos os datos recompilados en campo e comprobar que non faltase nada. Por un lado, revisáronse as notas de campo, os rexistros de materiais, os datos do GPS e as fotografías… procurando que todo fose accesible en formato dixital; por outro comprobouse que as pezas e mostras recollidas estivesen ben identificadas, pensando no seu procesado posterior.

Puntos GPS obtidos no Outeiro de Arnás

E aí comezou o verdadeiro reparto de tarefas. João xestiona nestes momentos todos os aspectos relacionados coa toma de puntos co GPS submétrico. A maioría deses puntos tomáronse co obxectivo de elaborar modelos dixitais do terreo, cos que se poderán elaborar desde planimetrías ata modelos 3D dos sitios prospectados. Outros refírense ás evidencias materiais documentadas sobre o terreo, o que nos permitirá coñecer non só os lugares onde apareceron, senón tamén saber os motivos polos que se producen esas acumulacións dentro dos sitios.

De forma complementaria, Manuel procesa toda a documentación gráfica obtida co dron, centos de fotografías que non so nos permiten ter una perspectiva totalmente diferente dos sitios, senón que tamén servirán para elaborar novos modelos dixitais. O outro día andaba argallando como presentar de forma máis didáctica estes mesmos modelos.

Modelo 3D do Outeiro de Arnás (sen texturas)

Comentábame onte Rebeca que as mostras xa están preparadas para a súa análise e que Erik, inseparable da improvisada forcada artesanal que trouxo de Arnás, comezará nos próximos días o proceso de fotografado en detalle e documentación dos materiais. Consciente dos prazos que nos marcan as autoridades, coordina ela agora tamén o informe valorativo que teremos que entregar nun mes escaso. Nel explicarase con detalle todo isto que vos vimos contando desde o inicio dos traballos: localización dos sitios, métodos e técnicas usados, descrición das estruturas e materiais, etc.

E aquí é onde me atopo eu, a máis de 1500 qm de Verín, traballando nese mesmo informe. E mentres escollo algunhas fotografías para ilustrar un capítulo que veño de redactar, vexo tamén outras imaxes, máis informais, que me fan recordar o agarimo co que fomos acollidos. Afástame destes pensamentos unha serie de mensaxes no grupo de whatsapp. Parece ser que o equipo, revisando algúns artigos, atopou algúns paralelos arqueolóxicos interesantes que nos axudarán a comprender mellor o Alto do Circo e Outeiro de Arnás. Estamos afeitos a traballar así, en tempo real, coa seguridade de que cada día esconde algo novo e coa secreta ilusión de que os nosos pasos nos volvan levar ao Támega.

Por José Manuel Costa