Largest reception hall in the Roman Empire discovered in Spain’s Cuenca

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The archaeological excavation campaign carried out at the site of the Roman villa of Noheda, in Villar de Domingo García (Cuenca), has revealed the entire floor plan of the villa and the largest reception hall known to date in the entire Roman Empire, with an area of nearly 750 square metres.

Largest reception hall in the Roman Empire discovered in Spain's Cuenca
Archaeological excavations at the site of the Roman villa of Noheda, in Cuenca [Credit: R.C.]

The campaign was led by archaeologist Miguel Ángel Valero, who used georadar remote sensing to find out the extent of the remains buried in an area of two hectares.




“The results are spectacular because, although the work is still being processed and no further details can be given, a first approximation of the morphology and dimensions of the complex indicates that it is greater than expected”, explained the archaeologist.

Largest reception hall in the Roman Empire discovered in Spain's Cuenca
Mosaic floor at the Roman villa of Noheda, in Cuenca [Credit: JCCM]

Also during these excavations it has been possible to obtain the first data to measure the changes in the fauna and diet of the inhabitants of this Roman villa in each of the stages of use of the enclave.




As for the residential space, it has been discovered that the construction system of the complex is based on the execution of three artificial terraces of some 30 metres with a difference in height between them of two metres. On the lower terrace there was a colonnaded open courtyard with access to a system of large cascading ponds.

Largest reception hall in the Roman Empire discovered in Spain's Cuenca
Detail of the Noheda mosaic, Cuenca [Credit: Luis Medel]

According to Miguel Ángel Valero, “these ponds seem to form the southern façade of the complex, which would give it an unusual monumentality.”

The nearly 500 objects found so far in Noheda will be displayed in March 2019 in an exhibition organised by the Regional Ministry of Culture of Castilla-La Mancha.

Source: Las Noticias de Cuenca [October 07, 2018]

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