Deep in the heart of Spain, a remarkable discovery has been made that sheds light on the ancient Celtiberian civilization. The Polytechnic University of Madrid recently announced the excavation of a Roman camp and the long-forgotten city of Titiakos in the province of Soria in northern Spain. This remarkable find not only provides valuable insights into the history of Celtiberia, but also offers a glimpse into the military strategies and architectural prowess of the ancient world.
Celtiberia, a region in what is now north-central Spain, was inhabited by tribes believed to be of mixed Celtic and Iberian descent. These Celtiberians thrived in the hilly area between the Tagus and Iber rivers, and their influence extended into what is now the province of Soria, as well as parts of Guadalajara and Teruel. The discovery of the city of Titiakos, which existed more than 2,000 years ago, offers a glimpse into the life and culture of these ancient people.
The excavations, led by renowned professor Eugenio Sanz of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, uncovered many artifacts and structures that provide valuable insight into the daily life of the Celtiberians. A limestone quarry was also discovered, which is thought to have been used for the construction of a large military camp. This suggests that the camp served as a defensive barrier for the Celtiberian-Roman city, protecting it from potential threats.
The significance of this find lies not only in its historical value, but also in its connection to the Sertorian War. The Sertorian War, fought in 80-72 BC, was the last stand of the Marianist faction after its defeat in Italy during Sulla’s Second Civil War. Quintus Sertorius, a prominent figure in the war, held out in Spain for over a decade but was eventually defeated. The recently discovered city of Titiakos is thought to have been a stronghold during this turbulent period, giving the excavation another historical meaning.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, was conducted in the Deza area after aerial photography revealed the presence of archaeological sites. The images showed sections of a rock-cut road with distinct ruts indicating the passage of carts. These sections led to a cliff where a massive 2.5-ton stone block stood, shrouded in mystery for centuries.
Prof. Sans explains that the quarry fronts and the rock itself were so seamlessly integrated into the natural landscape that they went unnoticed for over 2,000 years. The military camp, built with amazing precision and craftsmanship, was strategically located to protect the Celtiberian-Roman city from its most vulnerable side. The extraction of approximately 12,000 cubic meters of limestone from this quarry suggests a direct correlation between the volume and type of rock found in the remaining walls and the reused stone boundaries in the surrounding farmland.
An even more intriguing find is the presence of warlike elements and evidence of conflict in the excavated area. Shells and coins from the mint were found, indicating a possible connection between the military camp and the defense of the city’s mint. This suggests that the fort played a crucial role in ensuring the economic stability of Titiakos during times of political upheaval and warfare.
The excavation of the Celtiberian city of Titiakos provides a rare opportunity to delve into the rich history and culture of ancient Spain. It provides us with valuable insights into the military strategies used by these ancient civilizations and highlights their architectural prowess. As researchers continue to study this remarkable site, we can only expect new discoveries that will deepen our understanding of the Celtiberian civilization and its enduring legacy.