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Archaeologists to begin excavations in the Roman city of Ammaia in Portugal

On Monday, 9 July, the `Lusitania Archaeology: International Research and Dissemination Project of the Roman city of Amaia (Portugal)' project will begin. Its aim is to promote the creation of a cultural and tourist itinerary between Portugal and Spain. The project is part of a line of research on Roman cities in Lusitania, led by the Foundation for Roman Studies and the Research Department of the National Museum of Roman Art.

Archaeologists to begin excavations in the Roman city of Ammaia in Portugal
Roman city of Ammaia [Credit: Tourism in Portugal]
The Roman city of Ammaia, located some 100 kilometres from Mérida, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Roman Portugal, which also has enormous archaeological potential yet to be discovered due to the considerable gaps in the city's archaeological and chronological history. This is because, despite being a classified national monument, it remained in private hands until the 1990s, when the newly established Ammaia Foundation acquired the land and began the research and dissemination project for the site.

Its proximity to Merida means that many similarities are expected with the capital of Lusitania, especially in terms of its architectural features. As the museum's director, Trinidad Nogales, has pointed out, this research will allow archaeologists to "reveal certain insights into how the Lusitanian features were influenced."

Although the exact date of its foundation and abandonment is not known, it is believed that, like Augusta Emerita, it was created by order of Emperor Augustus.

Professor Carlos Fabiao believes that an important advantage is the fact that Ammaia has not been resettled, allowing the research team will have more freedom to carry out its work. "We can freely choose where we are going to work, without the limitations imposed by modern buildings that we have in Merida," Fabiao says.

In addition to the research work, the project includes other activities such as visits to the site during the excavations, temporary exhibitions on the results at the National Museum of Roman Art and the publication of works on its website and social networks.

Currently, the project is focused on the archaeological excavation of the forum of the city of Ammaia, although it is estimated that the city covers some twenty-five hectares. It is open to the public and research work will continue throughout July.

Source: SER [July 08, 2018]


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