Discovery of 66 new Roman Army sites shows more clues about one of the empire


Picture: Roman army presence in Castile
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The discovery of dozens of new Roman Military web pages thanks to distant sensing technologies has exposed much more about a single of the empire’s most notorious conflicts.&#13

Analysis of the 66 camps shows the Roman military had a larger sized existence in the region than beforehand assumed for the duration of the 200-12 months battle to conquer the Iberian Peninsula.&#13

The discovery of camps of unique measurements – used for schooling and shelter – has authorized industry experts to map how soldiers attacked indigenous groups from distinct instructions and to master additional about the footprint of the Roman army existence in the northern fringe of the River Duero basin – the León, Palencia, Burgos and Cantabria provinces. &#13

Gurus analysed aerial pictures and satellite photographs, made 3-dimensional models of the terrain from LiDAR info and applied drones to develop in depth maps of the sites. This included sources from the Spanish Countrywide Geographic Institute (IGN) and geoportals these kinds of as Google Earth or Bing Maps. Pinpointing locations allowed fieldwork to then get put.&#13

These short term occupations generally left fragile and refined traces on the area. The ditches or the earth and stone ramparts defending these fortifications have been crammed in and flattened. Combining diverse distant sensing images and fieldwork demonstrates the perimeter form of the temporary Roman navy camps, frequently a rectangle like a playing card. &#13

These new internet sites are positioned at the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains, where the conflict between Romans and natives was focused at the stop of the 1st century BC. This indicates soldiers crossed among lowlands and uplands, employing ridges in the mountains to stay out of internet site and give on their own a lot more defense.&#13

The truth there were so numerous army camps in the area demonstrates the enormous logistical guidance which authorized soldiers to conquer the space. Web-sites were made use of to aid motion to remote areas and to support soldiers stay in the spot around the chilly winter season months. Some of the camps may have housed soldiers for months or months, and overs overnight.&#13

The aim of the occupation was to grow the empire and to be capable to exploit organic methods these kinds of as tin and gold.&#13

The research, revealed in the journal Geosciences, was carried out by Andrés Menéndez Blanco, Jesús García Sánchez from the Archaeology Institute of Mérida, José Manuel Costa-García and Víctor Vicente García from the College of Santiago de Compostela, João Fonte from the University of Exeter and David González-Álvarez from the Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spanish Countrywide Analysis Council. &#13

Dr Fonte said: “We have discovered so a lot of web-sites since we employed distinctive types of distant sensing. Airborne laser scanning gave excellent benefits for some sites in more distant sites simply because it showed earthworks definitely well. Aerial photography worked far better in lowland areas for the detection of cropmarks.” &#13

“The continues to be are of the short term camps that the Roman army set up when transferring by way of hostile territory or when carrying out manoeuveres all over their long lasting bases. They expose the extreme Roman exercise at the entrance to the Cantabrian Mountains throughout the last phase of the Roman conquest of Hispania.”&#13

There is an critical focus of 25 web sites along the valleys of northern Palencia and Burgos, as effectively as southern Cantabria. In the province of León, as many as 41 websites have been documented in unique valleys. These array from small forts of a couple of hundred sq. meters to massive fortified enclosures of 15 hectares. &#13

Most of these Roman military services web sites had been located in shut proximity of afterwards vital Roman cities. Sasamón, a village in Burgos that was probably exactly where close by the Emperor Augusto founded his camp throughout his presence in the entrance. &#13

The analysis will continue on so specialists can study the relationships the Romans recognized with indigenous communities, named Vaccaei, Turmogi, Cantabri, Astures and Callaeci, in accordance to the Greek and Latin sources.&#13

The workforce is at this time establishing a job to catalogue and doc all the Roman camps in the province of León by implies of drones, in buy to achieve a greater understanding of their buildings or the evolution of their condition of conservation. Get the job done is also continuing in Burgos and in Sasamón, which include a analyze of the Cerro de Castarreño settlement and its conquest in the 1st century BC.


The conclusions have been shared with cultural and heritage organisations so they can be safeguarded in foreseeable future.&#13

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