Archaeological treasures recently unearthed in the Pyrenees have revealed an ancient Roman imperial city and a section of the Via Domitia.
Accordingly, archaeologists have found an ancient Roman imperial city in Northern Spain and one of the largest sections of the “Domitian Road”, an ancient road that crossed Southern Gaul. (today France).
The Pyrenees (between France and Spain) is a challenge for archaeologists, it has witnessed many periods of development of different peoples in history.
More than 800,000 years before our time, the presence of members of the genus Homo has been attested by the remains of their predecessor Homo, discovered in Atapuerca, Northern Spain. Since then, the area of the Pyrenees has been occupied continuously during the Paleolithic period.
It was only during the Neolithic period, when humans became sedentary, that their presence became a constant and is evidenced by the numerous remains found in the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountains.
Then came the Roman period, the Pyrenees were then occupied by the Celts, this was the site of many exchanges between these two peoples, at first peaceful, then becoming increasingly hostile. until the Gauls came to conquer in the 2nd century BC.
From there, cities and roads were built in the Roman style and traces of it remain to this day.
Two cities overlap from Roman times to the Middle AgesRecent excavations of an archaeological complex carried out by scientists from Zaragoza in Spain have uncovered relics from Roman times.
In a series of studies, they revealed the details of surprising discoveries. Specifically, in the area near the Aragon River in Northern Spain, scientists have found the ruins of ancient buildings.
At first, they thought they belonged to different complexes, but thanks to further excavations, experts have determined that all these buildings constitute a city dating back to the first two centuries. of our era.
What is more surprising is that there is no historical document that mentions such a city! Based on the layout and complexity of the elements discovered, this has shown that this is a quite busy city.
Archaeologists have identified several streets, sidewalks, sewers, marble hands from a public memorial. According to the newspaper El Pais, researchers have attributed them to the architectural style “late first century”, late Flavian period or early Antonine period.
In addition, they also observed that a medieval village built on top of Roman ruins dates from the 9th century and was occupied until the 13th century. As recorded in historical documents, it is called Artede, Arteda, Artieda or Arteda Ciuitate according to the writings.
In addition, the study of the tombstones located in the cemetery and the marble hands will reveal more about the complex history of this archaeological site.
Domitia Road through the South of FranceThis is not the only recent discovery that attests to the Roman occupation of the Pyrenees! During this period, roads were built and traces are still visible today
Especially the Domitian Way, or Via Domitia, was started in 118 BC. It connects Rome with Spain, passing through Narbonne Gaul.
Inrap researchers have found part of it! The newly revealed part connects the Rhône to the Pyrenees. Although this route is known because it is widely cited in literary works, very little in-depth research has been done on the Via Domitia. Especially in terms of its construction process and purpose.
Research shows that traffic on this road is about 18 meters wide, divided into several lanes. In addition, many items were found related to consignments such as coins, or precious antiques from Marseille.
Documents show that it is possible to date the use of the route from the 2nd to 1st centuries BC until the 4th century.