A new look at the origins


These days the latest issue of the journal Nailos, edited by the Association of Independent Professional Archaeologists of Asturias (APIAA), has been released. An article on the camps of Castrocalbón / Castrucarbón (León) written by our colleague Jose Costa can be found in its pages.

The enclosures of La Chana in 1957

At the beginning of the 1960’s, E. Loewinsohn detected on the USAF aerial photography of 1956-57 up to three playing-card enclosures and a circular structure while trying to define the layout of the Via XVII of the Antonine Itinerary (Bracara AugustaAsturica Augusta). This remarkable discovery attracted the attention of other researchers who, several decades later, flied over the place and succeeded in identifying a new camp. Therefore, the site of La Chana was not only the first place where a group of temporary camps was documented, but also one of the first where aerial photography was tested as an important resource for the Roman military archaeology.

The site  of La Chana today.

The open access to the important potographic catalogue of the Spanish National Geographic Institute (IGN), allowed to revisit this site and to contrast the potential of historical and recent aerial photography, satellite imagery and LiDAR. The results are encouraging, since not only the ancient structures could be better analysed, but also new ones were discovered..

Furthermore, the application of GIS analyses (visibility, mobility) allows to reopen the debate about the concentration of camps in this place and the units that could be involved in its construction.

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