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 032: Discovering the most important Roman cities from Portugal and Spain & Dig in the Roman City of Sanisera (Menorca, Spain)

General Information


The Theater of Merida, SpainThis program, which has been scheduled by The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools, is divided in two main parts. In the first part of the course students will gain experience in archaeological fieldwork by excavating in the Ancient Roman city of Sanisera. This site is located in the Mediterranean island of Menorca. During the second part, students will travel from Lisbon to Seville discovering the most important Roman cities from Portugal and Spain, leaded by an expert on Roman archaeology & Museums.


Part 1. The archaeological fieldwork in Sanisera (Menorca, Spain)

The research is focused on the archaeological excavation of Sanisera and it studies what happened in this Roman port connected to the maritime traffic that sailed the Mediterranean during those times. As a result, we know that this is a very interesting archaeological site, with abundant findings of multiple artifacts that will help us to reconstruct its past.

The excavation at the Roman city of Sanisera provides all the archaeological documentation necessary for the student to acquire enough training and experience in all aspects involving an excavation of the Roman civilization from the II century B.C. to the VI A.D.

In the laboratory students will learn to classify all the artifacts found on the site, including Roman pottery, numismatics and faunal remains.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 70%.


Part 2. Travel from Lisboa to Seville discovering the most important Roman cities from Portugal and Spain


For the second part of the course, the Field Program has scheduled an archaeological tour travelling from Lisbon, capital of Portugal and considered one of the most charming cities in Europe. We will cross the border to reach Seville in Spain as our final destination. Seville preserve the largest antique center of Spain and one of the three largest in Europe alongside with Venice and Genoa. This cultural capital receives national and international tourism, and is the third most visited city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Among its most representative monuments are the Cathedral, the Giralda, the Alcázar, the Archive of the Indies and the Torre del Oro, the first three being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.


In the tour, we will discover four Roman cities: Conimbriga y Evora in Portugal, and Merida and Italica in Spain. This tour will have a duration of five days and explanations will be in English.


In Conimbriga, we will visit the Roman ruins one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal with some of the earliest layers dating back to the first Iron Age in the 9th Century B.C. The Romans arrived in the 2nd century A.D., and the city walls are largely intact as well as the mosaic floors and foundations of many houses and public buildings. In the public baths, you can view the network of stone heating ducts beneath the now-missing floors.


The Romans conquered Evora in 57 BC and expanded it into a walled town. Vestiges from this period (city walls and ruins of Roman baths) still remain. Julius Caesar called it Liberalitas Julia (Julian generosity). The city grew in importance because it lay at the junction of several important routes. During his travels through Gaul and Lusitania, Pliny the Elder also visited this town and mentioned it in his book Naturalis Historia as Ebora Cerealis, because of its many surrounding wheat fields. In those days, Évora became a flourishing city. Its high rank among municipalities in Roman Hispania is clearly shown by many inscriptions and coins. The monumental Corinthian temple in the centre of the town dates from the first century and was probably erected in honour of Emperor Augustus. In the fourth century, the town had already a bishop, named Quintianus. The city's historic legacy was officially recognized in 1986, when UNESCO declared Evora a World Heritage Site.


Merida was founded in the year 25 BC by the army of Augustus. The city became the capital of Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. Merida preserves the most important ancient roman monument than any other city in Spain. We will visit the theater, el amphitheater, the Temple of Diana, the National Museum of Roman Art and the roman villa was called the House of the Mithraeum. This is another house built at the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century AC outside the city walls, without any restrictions to its growth. Its size and the decoration of some of its rooms undoubtedly show that its owners were people of Hellenistic culture who were important within the society of this city.


Italica was the birthplace of the Roman emperor Trajan. Hadrian was generous to his settled town, which he made a colony; he added temples, including a Trajaneum venerating Trajan, and rebuilt public buildings. Italica's amphitheater seated 25,000 spectators—half as many as the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome— and was the third largest in the Roman Empire. The city's Roman population at the time is estimated to have been only 8000. The games and theatrical performances funded by the local aristocracy, who filled the positions of magistrate, were a means of establishing status: the size of the amphitheater shows that the local elite was maintaining status that extended far beyond Italica itself.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 30%.


 


Details of mosaics in the Roman houses of Conimbriga (Portugal)

Details of mosaics in the Roman houses of Conimbriga (Portugal)

The Augustus Temple of Evora (Portugal)

The Augustus Temple of Evora (Portugal)

Aerial view of the theater and the amphitheater of Merida (Spain)

Aerial view of the theater and the amphitheater of Merida (Spain)

Temple of Diana, Merida (Spain)

Temple of Diana, Merida (Spain)

Detail of a mosaic in the Mithraeum House, Merida (Spain)

Detail of a mosaic in the Mithraeum House, Merida (Spain)

The amphitheater of Italica, Sevilla (Spain)

The amphitheater of Italica, Sevilla (Spain)

Student digging in the Roman city of Sanisera

Student digging in the Roman city of Sanisera

Statue of emperor Hadrianus in the Archaeological Museum of Seville (Spain)

Statue of emperor Hadrianus in the Archaeological Museum of Seville (Spain)

The Sanisera Roman city in Menorca, Balearic Island

The Sanisera Roman city in Menorca, Balearic Island

Group of Students digging in Sanisera

Group of Students digging in Sanisera

Student discovering a Roman lamp of the Late Antiquity in Sanisera

Student discovering a Roman lamp of the Late Antiquity in Sanisera

 



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