Archaeology in the Roman Forum of Valeria

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Location: Cuenca, España

Season: July 10, 2024 to August 15, 2025

Session Dates: July 15 - 2 August, 2024

Application Deadline: July 1, 2023

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

ArchaeoSpain/Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government

Project Director:
Ph D. Dionisio Urbina

Project Description:

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 2024 excavations will continue to focus on this part of the western cryptoporticus. After discovering in 2023 the first signs of the original pavement of the cryptoportic, formed by a clear level of ashes, the excavations will focus on the excavation of the lower levels in which the presence of a set of imitation indigenous and earthen ceramics seems to be confirmed. sigillata, which could serve to accurately date one of the last moments of use of the cryptoporticus. On the other hand, the investigation will continue to the north of the cryptoporticus in order to fully locate the set of architectural elements that were part of this area of ​​the forum, known as the Exedra, which thanks to the new findings can be interpreted as  as a space for the representation of the elites is proposed, following the model of Augustus in the forum of Rome.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman

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. 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) Cost: US$ 2,650 Fees Include: • Full Room and Board • Fieldwork training • Seminars and workshops • Excursions and other activities • Medical Insurance • Transportation to and from airport • Application fee • Administrative costs Fees DO NOT include airfare

Contact Information:


41 Crossroads Plaza, Suite 133

West Hartford



United States

Phone: (186) 088-1222

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