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Cerro de la Muela. Roman Castellum

Location: Carrascosa del Campo , Cuenca, Spain

June 9, 2014 to August 23, 2014

Session dates: 
9-28 June / 4-23 August

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, May 31, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon brochure_2014_download_.pdf

Discount for AIA members: 

Program Type

Field school




Project Director:

PhD. Dionisio Urbina and Catalina Urquijo. Drs. Arqueoexperiences Cultural resource managements company

Project Description

This year, a new and exciting project will begin at the roman site of Cerro de la Muela. We will start investigating a spectacular building 80x90m, made of concrete, with a  tower in each corner (castellum). The main entrance, located at the eastern side of the building, has a portico with seven large columns made of rectangular stones. This place of unknown function could have served as a military garrison, as a horreum or as a place where to transform lapis specularis, the first known crystal to be used in windows (Plinius. Naturalis Historia. XXXVI, 161) which brought economic prosperity to the region in the time of Augustus.

On 1972-3 Professor  M.M. Sadek from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, directed two archaeological campaigns. A great amount of artifacts such as roof tiles, indigenous ceramics, kitchen pots, storage jars, terra sigillata, loom weights, brooches, coins, iron tools, glass vessels, fragments of stucco and mosaic tesserae were found.

At the northwestern corner of the main building four cells of opus signinum were found, they belong to a wine or olive press, a pavement of large stone slabs is located in the center, and several walls that were interpreted as potential water conduits are located in the southeastern corner. Outside the portico were found the remains of well preserved hypocaust.

Program 2014
Archaeological survey of the entire site to define its boundaries and chronology, (practice of recognition of different ceramic types). Excavation of the structures discovered in 1972-3.Cleaning the cross section dug in the center of the building (practice of stratigraphc interpretation). Archaeological drawing of the building structures with total station.

Excavation: -The correct way to using tools. -Learning the use of technical tools. -Techniques and methods of excavation. -Collection of samples for laboratory. -Stratigraphy, contexts and Phases. -The Law of superposition and the Harris Matrix.

Documentation and Registration: -Excavation diary. -Context sheets.-Plans. Section drawings. Drawing artifacts.-Recording and processing of artifacts.-Artifacts reconstruction.

Restoration:-First aid for finds.-Cleaning, washing and lime and salt extraction.-Preventive conservation of ruins.

Seminars: Roman archaeology in Spain. Introduction to roman ceramic studies. Introduction to roman epigraphy.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman period I BC to V AD

Excavation in Spain. Roman site with castellum. Detailed program. Directed by archaeologist with 20 years of experience

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
not required

Room and Board Arrangements

Will be staying at the beautiful cottage Garden of St. Bartholomew, with 6 double rooms, 2 four and a attic with 4 twin bedrooms, all with en suite. Each room is unique and has been carefully decorated, respecting traditional style of the house. It also has different living areas: library, kitchen and a nice patio overlooking the church. Is possible to wash clothes. Near the hostel is the public swimming pool.
Carrascosa del Campo is a little village placed at 100km from Madrid an 55km from Cuenca, joined by highway. The village has a pharmacy and a Health Centre. There is a small Hospital in the nearby town of Tarancon (25km) and a general Hospital in Cuenca. Besides a pool is an artificial lake near Carrascosa. In the surroundings you can visit the Roman  city of Segóbriga, Uclés monastery, castles of Almenara and Belmonte and the great mosaics of the Noheda roman villa.
Roman City of Segobriga was the cultural, adminstrative and miner center of a wide area at the Peninsular center. Plinius called it "caput celtiberiae". Was created by Iulius Caesar and with August and thanks to the wealth of exploitation of lapis specularis mines, a great public constructions program began: a great foro, the theater, amphitheater, termae, temples, and circus. 
The Puebla de Almenara Castle is a fortification rebuilt between the XIV and XV on a previous Islamic fortification. 
Uclés owes its historical relevance to the Order of Saint James, which chose this town as the capital of their territory. 
World Heritage City of Cuenca is one of Spain's most memorable cities. Most emblematic are the Casas Colgadas (hanging houses), which cling above the deep gorges that surround the town. There we can visit the Cathedral, the Spanish abstract art museum, or the archaeological museum where we see the artifacts from Cerro de la Muela.

1290€ per session (3 weeks)

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Calle Llano, 25
Santa Cruz de la Zarza
+034 687754256
Recommended Bibliography: 

ABASCAL, J.M. y CEBRIÁN, R. (2000): "Inscripciones romanas de Segóbriga (1995-1998)." Saguntum, 32, 199-214.

ABASCAL, J.M. y CEBRIÁN, R.  (2002) “inscripciones romanas de Segóbriga (1999-2001 e inéditas)”. Saguntum, 34, 151-186.

ABASCAL, J.M., ALMAGRO, M. y CEBRIÁN, R. (2007) Segóbriga ciudad celtibérica y romana. Toledo.

BELTRAN LLORIS, M. (1990): Guía de la cerámica romana. Zaragoza. 

BERNÁRDEZ, M.J., y GUISADO DI MONTI, J.C. (2004) "La minería romana del lapis specularis. Una minería de interior." Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Castilla-La Mancha 1996-2002. Toledo, pp. 245-256.

CURCHIN, l. A.( 2004) The romanization of central Spain: complexity, diversity and change in provincial hinterland. Routledge.

KEPPIE, L. (1991) Understanding Roman inscriptions. Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

KNAPP, R. C. (1992) Latin inscriptions from Central Spain. UC. Press.

-(1977) Aspects of the roman experience in Iberia, 206-100 B.C. Vitoria. 

PALOMERO, S. (1987) Las vías romanas en la provincia de Cuenca, Cuenca.

SADEK, M.M.J. (1974) “Excavations at the Spanish roman site of “Cerro de la Muela”, Carrascosa del Campo. Echos du Monde Classique. Classical News and Views.Vol XVIII, nº 1, Jan./Janv., 27-8

-(1975) “Excavations at Cerro de la Muela, Spain, 1974”. Echos du Monde Classique. Classical News and Views.Vol XIX, nº 1, Janvier/January, 6-8

-(1976) “La excavación del Cerro de la Muela, Carrascosa del Campo. Por la Universidad de Guelph”. Noticiario Arqueológico Hispánico, Arqueología, nº 4, 213-250

URBINA, D. URQUIJO, C. MORÍN, J. ROBERTO, R. AGUSTÍ, E. y LÓPEZ, F. J.. Excavaciones en Casas de Luján II. Balnea, alfares y almazaras en el territorio segobricense. MArq Audema. Serie Mundo romano/Antigüedad Tardía. Urbina, D. Urquijo, C. y Morín, J. (Eds. científ.). Madrid, 2012, ISBN: 978-84-616-3369-2, 182 págs.

URBINA, D. URQUIJO, y C. MORÍN, J. Madrigueras II. Un vicus en el territorio segobricense. MArq Audema. Serie Mundo romano/Antigüedad Tardía. Urbina, D. y Morín, J. (Eds. científ.). Madrid, 2012, ISBN: 978-84-616-3370-8, 272 págs.