lunes, 10 de julio de 2017

PRESS RELEASE (ENGLISH) Caraca Archaeological Team - Jul, 5th 2017

         On July and August 2017 the first archaeological campaign on the Cerro de la Virgen de la Muela (Driebes, Guadalajara, Central Spain) will be held. This site has been identified as the former Roman civitas of Caraca. These works will be afford by regional and local authorities (Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, the Driebes City Council with the support of the neighbours) plus some other cultural associations (Asociación de Mujeres de Brea de Tajo and the Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Guadalajara). In addition, the exquisite courtesy performed by the landowners, permitting the development of this research, is highly noticeable.   

            The archaeological works will be developed by an interdisciplinary team directed by the archaeologists Emilio Gamo Pazos and Javier Fernández Ortea, with the Prof. María Luisa Cerdeño (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Departamento de Prehistoria y Etnología), Saúl Martín González and David Álvarez Jiménez. In addition, the Centre C.I.L. II (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum) of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) will oversee the Latin epigraphs eventually unearthed. This is one of the main historical sources in the study of the Roman society. On the other hand, is also noticeable the action of some scholars in the field of the management of the historical heritage and the socialization and public display of the Archaeology. Thus, Dr. Alicia Castillo (Research group “Gestión del Patrimonio Cultural”-Universidad Complutense de Madrid) will perform a preliminar work about the perception of the archaeological work by the local community. In addition to it, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and María Ángeles Perucha (researchers of the IGME) will analyze the position of the collapsed materials and structures in order to determine if any seismic phenomenon took place on the site, in the line perhaps of the earthquake that heavily affected the non distant Roman city of Complutum in the 4th Century. Finally, Daniel Méndez (Revives) will visually document the unearthed structures in order to build some virtual models from the site, thus improving the final understanding of it.    

Juan Manuel Abascal (Catedrático de Historia Antigua in the Universidad de Alicante) said the following words about this first archaeological campaign on the Cerro de la Virgen de la Muela: “Excavations in the probable site of Caraca are capital to unveil the Roman age in the current Guadalajara province, and also to finally establish the picture of the main Roman roads in this territory; undoubtedly this is the biggest archaeological discovery in this region in many years”.       
The aims for the current intervention are focused to test the results provided by the 3D geo-radar of the CAI of Archaeometry from the Universidad Complutense on the previous project of Intensive and geotechnic archaeological survey of the Cerro de la Virgen de la Muela, Driebes (Guadalajara).

In this sense, the results imply the existence of a perfectly sketched city around the main Roman streets (cardus and decamanus), the forum, a supposed bath and a macellum (market). So, this research project requires to assess the importance of this place with an archaeological excavation and so to improve its understanding and to ease its protection as cultural heritage assets. Therefore, this intervention aims to record the city stratigraphy and to identify the diverse chronological phases which authorize to recognize the place's urban development.

The existence of an empty space surrounded southerly by a colonnade, a true portico, north-easterly by some rooms oriented north-west to south-west, and towards the north by two big rooms just placed at the border of the shrine, seems to point out such space as the forum. That is, the public and administrative area of the city. Excavations will be made on the suspected forum. Its confirmation would confirm that the identified remains at the Cerro de la Virgen de la Muela correspond with a municipality. This information would suppose a first level scientific feat as it implies the identification of the first Roman city in the present province of Guadalajara.

On the other hand, this excavation can serve to know the time the city got its juridical Roman status. Such verification means the improvement of the knowledge of the historical Romanization process in the province of Guadalajara.

Finally, attention will be also paid to document a part of the decumanus close to its connection with the cardus maximus. The GeoRadar showed the existence of a sewage system (aqua caduca) on this place under the stone pavement. Its factuality would serve to verify the development of this settlement. In this sense, and in correlation with the discovery of the aqueduct, we deem necessary to deep in the knowledge of the public water infrastructure that supplied the city of Caraca.

In other ways, people who want to go to the archaeological site of the Cerro de la Virgen de la Muela can attend the official visiting day, scheduled for August 3rd. This day there will be guided tours at 10 AM and 19 PM. Moreover, the Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Guadalajara will organise August 10th  a visit with a guided tour. Regarding this last visit, more information can be provided by writing to this e-mail:

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