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Ammaia, Marvão

The Roman town of Ammaia was founded in the 1st century, likely under the reign of Claudius. Archaeological research from the early 21st century suggest that the town was already intensively settled around the reign of Augustus (end of the 1st century BC-beginning of the 1st century AD). The flourishing Roman town, lying in the Roman province of Lusitania, acquired its civitas statute in 44–45 AD, although there is some debate on whether it received its municipal status (municipium) during the reign of Nero, Lucius Verus or Vespasian. Many of its urban structures developed through the exploitation of the area's natural resources, and access to several roads connecting it to the provincial capital of Emerita Augusta (Mérida).

During the 4th century there was a systematic reconstruction and restoration of the spaces of Ammaia. Yet, between the 5th and 9th centuries, Ammaia fell in decline and depopulated. When this part of the Iberian peninsula was already under Arab rule, the city seems to have been completely abandoned in favor of the nearby fortified settlement of Marvão. Ibn Maruán, an influential and powerful muladi began using the self-styled title of master of Ammaia and its ruins in the 9th century.

In 1398, there is a reference to a mill along the Ribeira de Sever, owned by Diogo Gonçalves, a resident of Marvão.

Around the beginning of the 16th century, there are references to the use of materials from the ruins in Ammaia to construct religious projects in Portalegre and neighbouring communities. By 1619, Diogo Pereira de Sotto Maior indicated that the bridge of Portagem was still visible during a hike, noting: "...where there still appears a base that the river could not undue. It was torn down and destroyed by greed, to say, that it stole the rights of the goods passing to the kingdom of Castile. In its place, was constructed another far below the same river (Sever), which is a tower that is below the city (of Ammaia), which was called Portagem. There used to reside the guards of the kingdom, who executed the rights of the King."

In 1710, one of the gateways from the site were extracted for the Castle of Vide, and later destroyed.

Spanish investigator D. José de Viu (in 1852) cited the sale of 20 statutes from Ammaia to England.

The archaeological and historical identification of the site as the Roman town of Ammaia dates from the mid-thirties (1935). It was Leite de Vasconcelos who first proved that the Roman site was the city of Ammaia, and not Medóbriga, as was pre-supposed by André de Resende. It was first referred to as Medóbriga by Pliny, by Arab authors such as ʿĪsā al-Rāzī and by various writers and historians during the 16th century, including André de Resende, Father Amador Arrais, Diogo Pereira de Sotto Maior and Duarte Nunes de Leão.

On 26 April 1982, the old bridge of Ammaia finally collapsed. Part of the Roman road, and referred to as the Ponte Velha (old bridge), it was situated at quite a distance from the main ruins (four kilometres). It was a unique arch, constructed of masonry and Roman stonework.

The beginning of archaeological investigations of the Roman ruins began in 1994, and was followed by similar projects in 1995 and 1996 under the Fundação Cidade de Ammaia; there was a topographic survey and excavations were done in four locations, which also involved cleaning, studying and conservation: the Porta do Arco, Forum and Temple, Quinta do Deão building and the Forum baths. Since 2007, supervision of scientific research was handled by the University of Évora. The site of Ammaia has been chosen as "open-lab" of the European funded project Radio-Past, and it is now used as test-site for the integration and innovation in non-destructive approaches to complex archaeological sites (surface artifacts collections, geophysical and geo-archaeological survey, remote-sensing and aerial photography).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_villa_of_Ammaia

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Ammaia, Marvão
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19 comments

J.Garcia said:

Esplêndida imagem e texto explicativo desta descoberta arqueológica
Desconhecia, Isabel
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Ruesterstaude said:

Die Säule erinnert mich eine Ballade „Des Sängers Fluch“ von dem deutschen Dichter Ludwig Uhland. Darin heißt es: „…Noch eine hohe Säule zeugt von verschwund'ner Pracht;
Auch diese, schon geborsten, kann stürzen über Nacht“…
www.ubonse.de/ubonse.de/rtf/2008.11.2.pdf
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Xata replied to Ruesterstaude:

Interesting, obrigada Volker
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Boarischa Krautmo said:

beautiful.
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Andy Rodker said:

Fine shot and thank you too for the notes. I'm familiar with the general history but not the specifics of individual places, so it was very interesting to read this!
6 weeks ago

Xata replied to Andy Rodker:

So many places to visit and feel history…
6 weeks ago

Blue rubber octopus said:

great history!
6 weeks ago

William Sutherland said:

Magnificent shots and great info! Stay well!

Admired in: www.ipernity.com/group/tolerance
6 weeks ago

Jaap van 't Veen said:

interesting images.
Thank you for the note Isabel.
6 weeks ago

grobi358 said:

Ein sehr eindrucksvolles Foto Isabel! Tolle Bildaufteilung!
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Rosalyn Hilborne said:

Great pictures Isabel and always good information.
6 weeks ago

tiabunna said:

A fascinating scene and great information, Isabel.
6 weeks ago

Edna Edenkoben said:

I was just going to say...this looks just like a leftover of an ancient Roman settlement. It's amazing to realize how long this has been around and whoever else may have seen this before us...
6 weeks ago

Paulo Moreira said:

A visitar.
6 weeks ago ( translate )

Xata replied to Paulo Moreira:

Sem dúvida
6 weeks ago ( translate )