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  • Valdeherrera
  • Calatayud
  • Valdeherrera-Cifuentes
  • Spain
  • Aragon
  • Saragossa
  • Paracuellos de Jiloca

Credits

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  • AIAC_logo logo

Periods

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Chronology

  • 399 BC - 1 BC
  • 1 AD - 499 AD
  • 800 AD - 899 AD

Season

    • Research (2005-2012) This is a key archaeological site for understanding how Rome conquered the Celtiberians and set up a process for transforming and controlling their territories. Situated on the left bank of the Jiloca, it occupies a low promontory overlooking the confluence of this river with the Jalon. It was therefore one of the nerve centres of the Celtiberians as it controlled access to two of the main routes used since ancient times to communicate between the Meseta, the Ebro valley and the east coast. 2005 saw the beginning of the ‘Valdeherrera Project’, which has included survey campaigns and geophysical studies. Between 2005 and 2009 the project was developed jointly by Bordeaux Montaigne University and the Department of Antiquity Sciences at the University of Zaragoza, with the collaboration of the Centre Littoral de Géophysique of the University of La Rochelle. Since 2010, however, the work has been coordinated by the University of Zaragoza. An extensive excavation programme has been implemented and has made it possible to mark out the boundaries of a 35-hectare Celtiberian town surrounded by deep moats. Various phases of occupation and destruction have been detected. Today one can speak of Valdeherrera I, located in the N of the promontory and destroyed during the Second Celtiberian War, and Valdeherrera II, located in the S and destroyed in Sertorian times. The identification of a small set of ceramic ware from the Middle/Late Bronze Age suggests there was an earlier settlement. The archaeological excavations carried out on the Valdeherrera II site (25 ha) have confirmed the existence of an orthogonal plan clearly inspired by the Italic style. The streets were porticoed and the _domus_ had tetrastyle atria; domestic rooms were richly decorated with _opus_ _signinum_ flooring and tessellated tiles on white mortar. ‘Pompeian Style I’ paintings have also been identified and could be the oldest examples in the Ebro valley. In the course of the 2012 excavations a Muslim necropolis or _maqbara_ was found, dating to the second half of the 9th century. It is currently undergoing excavation and anthropological study.
    • One of the most important new developments this year was the discovery among the remains of the Celtiberian-Republican town of a Muslim necropolis dating back to the emirate of Cordoba. This confirms information found in written Muslim sources. 62 individual tombs were found in the form of a ditch about 40/50 cm wide. These tombs were created over the destruction and abandonment of homes in the Sertorian town. Radiocarbon dating of some of the bone remains points to the second half of the 9th century. The exhumed bodies were of adult men aged between 20 and 40, many of whom had serious head injuries, missing limbs and even arrowheads stuck in their bones. These signs of violent death mean that the _maqbara_ can be linked to certain specific historical events in the area: the emirate of Muhammad I (852-886) and the loss of Umayyad control over the peripheral territories.

Bibliography

    • Martín-Bueno, M. y Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2003): “El Barrio de las Termas de Bilbilis: Insula I, domus 2 y 3”, Salduie, 3, pp. 355-362.
    • Martín-Bueno, M., Sáenz Preciado, J.C., Krausz, S. y Mathé, V. (2009): “Prospecciones geofísicas en la Ciudad Celtibérica de Valdeherrera (Calatayud, Zaragoza)”, Saldvie, 9, pp. 419-439.
    • Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2011): “La ciudad celtibérica de Valdeherrera (Calatayud, Zaragoza), En: VIII Encuentro de Estudios Bilbilitanos (Calatayud, 2010). Calatayud, pp. 361-378.
    • Krausz, S., Mathe, V. y Druez, M. (2012): “Des prospections géophysiques et pedestres sur l´oppidum celtibère de Valdeherrera (Calatayud, Aragón)”, Aquitania, 28, pp. 33-50.
    • Martín-Bueno, M. y Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2012): “Valdeherrera: la ocupación del territorio en época celtibérica en el valle medio del Jalón”, Aquitania, 28, pp. 7-32.
    • Martín-Bueno, M. y Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2013): “La ciudad celtibérica de Valdeherrera (Calatayud, España)“. En Coloquio La guerre et ses traces. Conflits et sociétés en Hispanie à l`época de la Conquete romaine (III-I s.av.J.-C.). Bordeaux: Ausonius Éditions, pp. 25-53.
    • Martín-Bueno, M. y Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2013): “La fundación de Calatayud: Nuevos datos cronológicos procedentes de la necrópolis musulmana descubierta en Valdeherrera”, Zephyrus LXXII, julio-diciembre, pp. 153-171.
    • Sáenz Preciado, J.C. (2013, e.p.): “Una revisión historiográfica de los estudios sobre la ciudad celtibérica de Valdeherrera”, Saldvie, 13.