Tag Archives: Julius Cesar

Building 3

The geophysical survey carried out in the field to the west of the site revealed a building that clearly differed from its surroundings; this was identified as “Building 3”.

In 2017, it was decided to excavate in this location with the aim of characterising this construction with regard to both its structure and function. In addition, this excavation enabled us to document more of the settlement’s urban structure.

Since that first campaign, every summer this building has been the site of a dig that is used as part of the theoretical-practical course organised for students at Edinburgh University.

The excavation has, so far, led to the discovery of an almost rectangular building, measuring 8m x 11.5m. It has two rooms in the north and a large area on the southern side, which is still being excavated.

A great deal of material has been found in this building. It tells us about both the life of its inhabitants (pottery ware for drinking and eating, game pieces, coins, etc.), and about its end, as several charcoal deposits show that it caught fire. Among the rubble of the largest room, the first anatomically connected human remains from the settlement have been found.

Panel 1. The archaeological site of Puig Ciutat

Where is it?

The archaeological site of Puig Ciutat is located in the municipal district of Oristà (Barcelona province). The archaeological site is currently located at the top of an elevated plain 526 metres (1,700 ft) above sea level. It covers a surface area of 5.1 hectares (12.6 acres), distributed over farmland and steeply sloping areas.

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The hill is surrounded by two watercourses, the river Gavarresa and one of its affluents, the river Olost, which make the site very valuable from a defensive and strategic point of view.

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What is its historical context?

Research has revealed archaeological evidence of different chronological phases that go from the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age to the Late Roman Republican Period (mid-1st century BC).

Most of the information we have at the moment relates to the late Roman Republican period. At that time, Puig Ciutat could have played a role as a garrison or military camp (praesidium). At the end of this period Rome’s Civil War between Julius Caesar and followers of Gnaeus Pompeius took place (BC 49 – 44).

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How can we visit?

So far only a small part of the Puig Ciutat site has been excavated. The rest of the site is still buried. Two routes have been set up for visiting the consolidated remains:

1) A tour of the interior of the site: there are five information panels describing the settlement during the Late Republican Roman Period. The panels have QR codes to complement and enlarge on the information.

2) A tour of the site surroundings: provides a picture of the surrounding area and describes the geographical and natural conditions of Puig Ciutat.

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The Historical Context

The Civil War between Julius Caesar and followers of Gnaeus Pompeius (BC 49-45)

The excavations carried out so far have given a date for the destruction of Puig Ciutat at the end of the Roman Republic, possibly during the Civil War between followers of Julius Caesar and followers of Gnaeus Pompeius. The map shows the area of influence of the two sides in the moments before the Battle of Ilerda (49 BC), when Caesar had control over Gaul and Pompey over a large part of Hispania. The regions under the control of the Roman Senate also supported Pompey.

Historical sources mention the movement of Caesar’s troops from Marseille to Hispania via unidentified points of the Pyrenees to confront Pompey’s followers, who had taken up position in Ilerda (Lleida).