Roman Ruins of “ Pla de Palol”

The Roman village of Pla de Palol, also known as the Roman village of Artigues beach, is an archaeological site or an outdoor public museum with free entrance, on some lands nearby the “Cala Rovira” beach, next to Avenida del Cavall Bernat (C-253) and within the municipal district. The part of the saved villa was excavated in extension as the complex became an archaeological park of first order in the region. The name Palol comes from the Latin diminutive palatiulum that means little Palatine, according to the name of one of the seven hills of Rome, where was the imperial palace. The reference to the Roman Palatine is an indication of the importance and luxury of the old village.

The first research was done in the nineteenth century. The researcher Josep Pella i Forgas arrived at Platja d’Aro and the inhabitants told him the story of “the city of Palol”, so he decided to go to visit that place, where he identified a row of stones in the middle of the way – an old road – that communicated Sant Feliu de Guíxols with Palamós, and made a description of the remains of the heritage known as “Senia dels Moros”. At the end of the summer of 1955, the works of a new building began and they found archaeological remains near Artigues but the unstoppable urbanization of this coastal zone began. The archaeologists could not stop the destruction of the ruins, where the large buildings of apartments were built. In spite of everything, in 1959 a thermal complex was located, which fortunately, the project for the construction of the “François Robert” house was modified, so that this house was built on a series of pillars and vaults that do not damage the archaeological set and guarantee his preservation. In 1988, an urgent excavation documented a patio area in front of the thermal complex, and during the years 1988 to 1999, the excavation was carried out in a extension of the protected area and left the remains discovered visitable. The works have served to know the historical evolution of this great site (some 10,000 m² an important part of which correspond to patios and spaces not built.) and have allowed to document several constructive phases, which involve a long survival, which goes from the Lower Catalan period to the 6th century AD.

Probably the Romans came to Platja d’Aro for the weather, for the earth, because it was near the sea and the mountains and because they could grow a town around the area. In the second century after Christ, the Romans marched towards Empúries and in the third century AD they returned to Platja d’Aro. The main activities found were agriculture and ceramics. A relief metal punch was found, used to record the amphorae of wine (denomination of origin), under the name Porcianus. No amphora recorded with this name was been found yet. Food and wine were stored in large ceramic jars called in Latin dolium (plural dolia) and its depth was about one meter. The Roman village of the Pla de Palol exploited the natural resources of the earth, both in agriculture and in the extraction of mud for the manufacture of ceramics. They were transported by sea thanks to the natural harbor of Cala Rovira at the mouth of the Riera de Can Carboner.


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