Fieldwork

Archaeology in the Roman Forum of Valeria

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This listing expired on January 1, 1970. Please contact programs@archaeospain.com for any updated information.

Location: Cuenca, España

Season: July 23, 2023 to August 31, 2023

Session Dates: July 23 - August 11, 2023

Application Deadline: July 1, 2023

Deadline Type: Rolling

Website: https://www.archaeospain.com/valeriacracgeology.html

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:
No

Affiliation:
ArchaeoSpain/Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government

Project Director:
Ph D. Dionisio Urbina

Project Description:

​Carthaginem conveniunt populi LXV…the following towns, enjoying the rights of ancient Latium:.. and the Valerienses. Pliny the Elder. Natural History, 3-25.
​The Roman city of Valeria is located in central Spain, to the south of the city of Cuenca in the area called Sierra Alta. It was founded between 93-82 BC by the proconsul Gaius Valerius Flaccus, who put down the last revolts of the indigenous Celtiberians. Given the unstable climate at the time, the city was planed and constructed on a narrow plateau very well defended; between two streams with high cliffs . But Valeria was also planned within the Roman program of colonization of the interior of the Iberian Peninsula, as one of the romanized setlements that were to become administrative, economic and commercial centers of a new region.
In our first excavation campaign in Valeria during the summer of 2022 many important discoveries were made. Excavating at the forum, fragments of sculpture, pedestals and memorial headstones were abundant. As an example, we found the inscription that Annia offered to her husband (or to her father) Cayo Grattio. Gaius had been the IIIVIR, the highest office in the city, and twice a priest or Flamen of the emperor’s cult. We have also found a fairly large number of construction elements such as fragments of bases and column capitals. Two capitals are especially important, one of them is Corinthian, very likely from the time of Augustus and the other has a decoration that has no exact parallels in all the Roman West. In addition to the capitals, some small bronzes have been found, such as a stylus for writing. But the most important of all is a torch fragment corresponding to a statue of the Goddess Ceres. This is a remarkable find, since there was no news of the presence of this goddess in the Valeria forum, and it is the only known in Hispania so far. The torch is an attribute of the goddess Ceres (Greek Demeter), related to the nine days she was given, to search the underworld for her daughter Proserpina (Greek Persephone), where Pluton (Greek Hades) had taken her.
​In 2023 the excavations will undertake the investigation of one of the unexcavated cores of the Forum; in the area known as the Exedra or Temple of the Imperial Worship. This area is located between the cardo maximus and the tabernae under the emperor’s cult building. This area is 10x10m and at least 2m deep, and is located between the wall that encloses the Forum on the west and to the east of the tabernae excavated in 1981.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman

Notes:
​Carthaginem conveniunt populi LXV...the following towns, enjoying the rights of ancient Latium:.. and the Valerienses. Pliny the Elder. Natural History, 3-25. ​The Roman city of Valeria is located in central Spain, to the south of the city of Cuenca in the area called Sierra Alta. It was founded between 93-82 BC by the proconsul Gaius Valerius Flaccus, who put down the last revolts of the indigenous Celtiberians. Given the unstable climate at the time, the city was planed and constructed on a narrow plateau very well defended; between two streams with high cliffs . But Valeria was also planned within the Roman program of colonization of the interior of the Iberian Peninsula, as one of the romanized setlements that were to become administrative, economic and commercial centers of a new region. In our first excavation campaign in Valeria during the summer of 2022 many important discoveries were made. Excavating at the forum, fragments of sculpture, pedestals and memorial headstones were abundant. As an example, we found the inscription that Annia offered to her husband (or to her father) Cayo Grattio. Gaius had been the IIIVIR, the highest office in the city, and twice a priest or Flamen of the emperor's cult. We have also found a fairly large number of construction elements such as fragments of bases and column capitals. Two capitals are especially important, one of them is Corinthian, very likely from the time of Augustus and the other has a decoration that has no exact parallels in all the Roman West. In addition to the capitals, some small bronzes have been found, such as a stylus for writing. But the most important of all is a torch fragment corresponding to a statue of the Goddess Ceres. This is a remarkable find, since there was no news of the presence of this goddess in the Valeria forum, and it is the only known in Hispania so far. The torch is an attribute of the goddess Ceres (Greek Demeter), related to the nine days she was given, to search the underworld for her daughter Proserpina (Greek Persephone), where Pluton (Greek Hades) had taken her. ​In 2023 the excavations will undertake the investigation of one of the unexcavated cores of the Forum; in the area known as the Exedra or Temple of the Imperial Worship. This area is located between the cardo maximus and the tabernae under the emperor's cult building. This area is 10x10m and at least 2m deep, and is located between the wall that encloses the Forum on the west and to the east of the tabernae excavated in 1981.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None, but apreciated

Room and Board Arrangements:
Valeria is a small municipality in the middle mountains of Cuenca with barely 80 inhabitants. Its urban area is structured around the Plaza Mayor, where we find the church, the Town Hall and some interesting mansions such as the house of the Curato and the house of the Dukes of Granada. From the square you can see the Town Hall building, which dates from the 18th century. It has a rectangular floor plan and two floors. The group, including ArchaeoSpain staff, will be staying at two small Guest houses near the Plaza Mayor. The project will provide breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner every day in the bar-restaurant on the ground floor of the Town Hall. (If you have dietary requirements, the restaurant will be informed in advance) Fee: US$ 2,550

Contact Information:


ArchaeoSpain

41 Crossroads Plaza, Suite 133

West Hartford

Connecticut

06117

United States

programs@archaeospain.com

Phone: (186) 088-1222

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