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Preliminary report on the study of the orientation of 60 Gallo-Roman Towns

AuthorsGarcia-Quintela, Marco; Espinosa-Espinosa, David; Rodríguez Antón, Andrea; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; González-García, A. César
Issue Date2019
Citation25th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting (2019)
AbstractFrom 2011 to 2018 our team has measured the orientation of 60 Gallo-Roman towns with 65 urban layouts. We have considered the decumani, basilicae and forums of the different settlements in order to establish the general orientation of each grid. Also, we have privileged towns founded at the time of Augustus, although we have also included others built before and after this period. Previous works during the last decade have studied the orientation of samples of Roman towns in Italy (Magli 2008), Hispania (Rodríguez-Antón et al. 2018), North-Africa (Rodríguez-Antón et al. 2017) and Iliria (Belmonte et al. 2019). Also, there are studies on particular towns (Lyon, García Quintela & González-García 2014; Aosta, Bertarione & Magli 2014; Cartagena, González-García et al. 2016; Trier, Espinosa-Espinosa et al. 2016; and Cologne, Espinosa-Espinosa & González-García 2017), or for specific groups of towns (like those founded at the time of Augustus, González-García et al. 2019). These studies show the existence of different, but consistent, orientation patterns which can be understood in the light of the Roman culture and its interaction with previous local traditions. What makes our sample for Gaul different is the spatial and temporal concentration of the sample at the time of Augustus, when the conquest is still recent and the existence of possible footprints of previous beliefs, either in confluence or in conflict with the Augustan astral ideology, can still be detected. Our analysis highlights two different urban orientation patterns north and south of the Roman way that connected Lyon with Saintes. To the south, the orientation is mostly cardinal, perhaps connected with the birthday of Augustus, while, to the north, the orientations are closely connected to the Celtic start of season festivals. This allows to purpose the existence of such festivals within the Gaulish culture before the Roman conquest.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al 25th European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) Annual Meeting: Beyond paradigms, celebrado en Berna (Suiza) del 4 al 7 de septiembre de 2019.
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