Roman Aqueducts in Spain Present New Findings

Segovia, Spain proves the need for open-mindedness before, during, and after archaeological digs.  Home to one of the most well-preserved Roman aqueducts in the world, this small Spanish town is rich with history and information surrounding cross-cultural  interactions.

Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain. Presumably built 112 AD, this is the site of many archaeological artifacts, ecofacts, and features.

This aqueduct is representative of archaeological features, or manmade alterations of the landscape which cannot be moved, within locations of past human activity which allude the daily routines, processes, and values of past generations (Renfrew, 40).  Aqueducts, in particular, act as evidence of interstate trade and societal structure, both socially and geographically.  Those who lived closer to the aqueduct reaped the benefits of its presence and ended up relatively advantaged.  After the aqueduct’s construction, urban development would become executed in relation to its location.  Today, Segovia takes the active aqueduct into consideration when expanding the city and planning celebrations of its history and culture.

Segovia, Spain with the Roman aqueduct running through the city center.

The aqueduct’s existence extends further into history than previously believed.  Recently, a team of archaeologists discovered an artifact from the aqueduct’s foundations from an excavation dating back to 1998.  The discovery of an “ancient Roman coin minted between 112 and 116 AD” alluded to the existence of Roman relations within Segovia prior to the original timeline, (Martín, El País).  This finding stresses the importance of evaluating the artifacts, ecofacts, features, and palimpsests of archaeological sites in relation to one another in order to mold discoveries based on contextual clues.

Not only does this discovery point to the age of Segovia as a whole, but it is also representative of daily activities and societal structures.  The Roman coin proves that the civilization at the time had a structured trading system involving monetary tangible currency rather than, or along with, bartering.  It alludes to the affluent nature of ancient Segovia and emphasizes the valuation of efficiency and trade within the city under Roman influence.  The fact that the aqueduct is still in use today only proves that similar values surrounding trade and efficiency remain.  Therefore, misconceptions about “lost civilizations” dating back to AD prove false based on various evidence, the use of the aqueduct being the most prominent.  This emphasizes the need for constant development and open-mindedness in research in order to provide context clues about the history of the world.  Knowledge of the past will help in understanding the present and future, as “time” operates cyclically.  It is important to constantly rediscover the world within new contexts and to continue to ask critical questions.

Sources:

PAÍS, EL. “Age of Segovia Aqueduct Revised after Discovery of Ancient Coin.” EL PAÍS, Síguenos En Síguenos En Twitter Síguenos En Facebook Síguenos En Twitter Síguenos En Instagram, 1 Nov. 2016, elpais.com/elpais/2016/11/01/inenglish/ 1477997248_304960.html.

Renfrew, Colin, and Paul G. Bahn. Archaeology Essentials: theories, methods, practice. 3rd ed. London: Thames & Hudson, 2015.

Photo Sources:

History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/ancient-rome/ pictures/roman-architecture-and-engineering/roman-aqueduct-segovia-spain.

Fletcher, Taylor. “Safe Travels >>>.” Pinterest, 4 Nov. 2013, www.pinterest.com/pin/ 170996117075648596/.

Further Readings:

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Segovia.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 Jan. 2011, www.britannica.com/place/Segovia-Spain.

“Aqueduct of Segovia.” World Monuments Fund, www.wmf.org/project/aqueduct-segovia.