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Los Bañales de Uncastillo: an outstanding roman site

24 June 2014

Very close to   Layana but still in the municipal area of Uncastillowe find  one of the most important archaeological sites  in Aragón.

Dating from the  1st to 4th centuries, although the geographer Labaña identified it as  Clarina, we still cannot be sure of the name of this Roman settlement, but it looks likely that this will soon be discovered in the course of the excavations and studies.

It appears to have been the main centre in a strongly Romanised area, and would have been  occupied by an upper class which controlled agricultural trade in the district.

Highlights of this large site include:

- The  baths, built in the 1st century, and possibly the finest of their kind in Aragón. With a capacity of 60 people, they had the following rooms: the apodyterium, massage room, frigidariumtepidariumcaldarium, pool and gymnasium. Enough to make a lot of modern spas look pretty basic!

- The  aqueduct which once brought water to the town is the most striking element. 32 massive pillars still stand, which once supported a water channel. In some stretches the channel was carved out of the rock (specus)

- The  dam forming the reservoir for the town was built using a system which was unusual in the peninsula, although there are parallels in the Middle East and northern Africa.

In the middle of this archaeological complex, the  chapel of Los Bañales  was built in the 16th century, and there is a procession to it every year on the last Sunday of May.

If you would like to learn more about the site,   we are organising a guided tour which will show off all the details. The tour will be led by a member of the   excavation team of Los Bañales who will act as a guide and explain the latest discoveries.


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