Within the framework of “Current Archaeological Research in Spain“, organised by the National Archaeological Museum in collaboration with the Palarq Foundation.
It will be held on Tuesday 29 October at 18h in the MAN and attendance is free and free of charge
Los Hitos (Arisgotas -Orgaz-, Toledo). From aristocratic pavilion to “uillula” is the talk given by Jorge Morín de Pablos (AUDEMA), Isabel M. Sánchez Ramos (UCL Instituto de Arqueología) and José Ramón González de la Cal (Escuela de Arquitectura de Toledo) on Tuesday 29 October at 6 pm, in the conference room of the National Archaeological Museum (MAN), as part of the series “Current Archaeological Research in Spain“
The archaeological site of Los Hitos (Arisgotas -Orgaz-, Toledo) is an important rural and sacred complex related to the late-antique elites of the capital of Toledo. Archaeological and documentary records reveal the process of monumentalisation of Toledo and its territory throughout the 7th century, and allow us to understand the collapse of the Roman territorial model based on uillae (e.g. Carranque), and its replacement by a genuine Visigoth model in which the monastic, sacred and funerary complexes, such as Los Hitos, constituted new references in the planning of the territory. The architecture documented in this space is particularly valuable in this sense and context and, consequently, served to transform the image of cities, territories and landscapes linked to kings, aristocracies and religious elites.
A new research and management project for “empty” Spain
The situation of the enclave in the foothills of the Montes de Toledo, in its eastern part, in a space on the road to depopulation, led us to propose an archaeological research project based on TRASVERSALITY and PARITY, a management model generated from the rural community itself, not from outside, from an urban university world, based on SUSTAINABILITY, EDUCATION AND INDIGENISM, together with the Municipality of Orgaz, the district of Arisgotas and its inhabitants and with the economic support of the Provincial Council of Toledo.
Works carried out campaign 2019
1.- Aristocratic pavilion (6th century AD). The excavation of the western part of this space has been completed, both of the areas that allowed the original access through an interior rear staircase and of the western exterior spaces. Two constructive moments have been identified in the use of the staircase. An original entrance from the north and a second access from the south. The excavation of these areas has revealed the existence of windows on the lower floor, which had a fence. On the other hand, the excavation of the outer area has made it possible to document the levels of foundation in the 6th century A.D. and to locate the existence of buttresses in the western area. Finally, the floor of the besieged staircase to the NW, annexed to the northern portico, has been consolidated.
2.- North façade of the complex. The excavation of the northern façade of the complex has continued. A tripartite building has been identified, with external buttresses and porticos at the ends, which closes the complex to the north. This space opens onto a courtyard to the SE and a square to the West. This Visigothic space, dating from the beginning of the 7th century A.D., was reoccupied in the Andalusian period at a late time -X/XI A.D.-. The Andalusian occupation is limited to the compartmentalisation of the Visigothic spaces and they are domestic areas with a home in a central position. The entire floor of the space has been marked with lime.
3.- Church. The excavation of the southern portico of the church, which contains three burials and two adjoining benches, has been completed. In addition, the entire southern outer perimeter of the church is excavated, a street in an east-west direction, with Andalusian reoccupations. None of these reoccupations are dismantled, but are maintained. Finally, the mausoleum located in the SW corner is excavated and consolidated, as well as the floor of the sacristy.
4.- East wall and warehouses. The existence of a walled fence more than two metres wide on the east side is documented, which also closes the whole to the west. This is an important novelty, since we are not only in front of a Visigothic villa, with its own church, but it is also fortified. The wall also has rectangular towers, one of which has been excavated and the one marked further south. Attached to the wall have been located three department stores, with entrance from the inside and roof tiles to a water.
5.- East bank and housing. The excavation of the east bank has continued and the houses attached to it have been excavated. These are quadrangular dwellings with a rectangular backyard. The housing around 20 m2 has a fireplace in a central position. They date from the end of the seventh century.
In addition, the excavation work has continued with the studies of fauna, by Drs. Verónica Estaca and José Yravedra Sáez de los Terreros of the OCM; anthropological, in agreement with the UAM; of mortars, by Dr. Pablo Guerra García, of the EAM of the Polytechnic University; orthophotos and systematic drone flights, in charge of Drs. Luis Iglesias and Rogelio de la Vega Panizo of the School of Mines of Madrid and of Dr. Manuel Sánchez de la Orden, of the University of Córdoba. This year, a cycle of absolute dates has also continued through the study of the polarity of the earth’s magnetic field, with Dr. Alicia Palencia Hortas of the UCM and the study of georadar by the University of Munich, directed by Dr. Félix Teichner. We continue with the architectural and calculation studies of the buildings in collaboration with the Toledo School of Architecture, directed by Dr. José Ramón González de la Cal. In collaboration with the IGME, a stratigraphic survey has been carried out to check the recurrence of flooding in the Arroyos de la Sierra and Arisgotas, as well as a hydrogeological study.
Finally, the excavated structures have been consolidated and itineraries have been generated for the visit of the new structures excavated in 2019, under the observations of the restorer María Isabel Ángulo Bujanda and the master stonemason César Cabezas de Patrimonio Nacional. Since 1 October 2019, the site has been open to the public on a free visit, incorporating these new spaces from this year’s campaign. The landscape architect Patricia Cendrero Oviedo participated in the landscape and conditioning works.
Dres. Jorge Morín de Pablos -AUDEMA-, Isabel M. Sánchez Ramos -Institute of Archaeology. University of London- y Miguel Ángel Díaz Moreno -AUDEMA-