The Roman Fortress Pulpon Seniors program offers a hands-on experience in excavation at a Roman archaeological site in the centre of Spain, along with an immersion in Spanish history, culture and traditions. It is specially designed for archaeology lovers with or without a degree in archaeology or previous field experience.
Based in a beautiful traditional house at Carrascosa del Campo, we will explore historical cities, archaeological sites, roman mines and castles, visit local wineries and taste the best traditional dishes and wines. ArchaeoSpain directors, Catalina Urquijo and Dionisio Urbina, will be guiding the program and sharing their more than 25 years of experience as archaeologists with the team.
Roman Fortress Pulpon is an interesting roman settlement placed between the Roman cities of Segóbriga and Ercávica. The highlight of the site is a quadrangular building of unknown function that could have served as a military garrison, as a horreum or as a place where to shape lapis specularis, the first crystal known to be used in windows (Plinius. Nat. Hist. XXXVI, 161), which brought economic prosperity to the region in the time of Augustus.
SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS
The Roman Fortress Pulpon is a Roman site located in Carrascosa del Campo, (Cuenca). Its highlight, a large building perfectly visible in the aerial and satellite photographs. This building is one of the largest structures among Roman remains in Spain.
It was discovered in 1973 by a team from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, led by M. M. Sadek. They could not determine the exact functionality nor the chronology of this building. Since then some hypothesis have been made, like the one that says that it could have been a military camp or a place related with the shaping of the famous lapis specularis.
Forty years later we have decided to investigate this building in detail. Its dimensions are 90x75m, its exterior walls are made of concrete and it presents four towers of the same material in its corners. On the East side a series of pillars built with sandstone blocks were discovered, which may reach up to 5m of height.
This could have been the main entrance of the building. Our first goal was to investigate the context of the structure. To reach this objective we carried on an intensive survey, which revealed the existence of a settlement of 15-17 hectares, unnoticed until now that will help us understand the site.
We have focused our work in the East side of the building, where we have been able to find the existence of a symmetrical pattern by studying the layout of the pillars, though some were not visible on the surface because they had lost some of the ashlars.
In the interior of the building we have focused the work near the SE tower. The area excavated by the Canadian team was cleaned, and new surfaces were dug. Two new rows of pillars as the ones in the façade were found inside. This was been one of the most remarkable and unexpected discoveries of 2014-15.
Considering just the pillars of the East side of the building, there are at least 26 of them with 7 blocks each, and approximate measures of 0.80x0,70×1,40m, this would make a total of 345.800kg (344.8 tonnes) of only pillars. Such a stone volume made us think about the existence of quarries not too far away from the deposit.
Under the Roman layers we found remains of buildings from the Iron Age that add interest to the settlement. The goal for 2017 is to continue the excavation on the SW tower of the monumental structure. This tower is the best preserved and we expect it will bring excellent results to help us understand the function of the building.
The Excavation Project is licensed by the Directorate General of Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Regional Government of Castilla/La Mancha, Spain, and has the support of Cuenca province and Carrascosa del Campo Council.
We will be staying at a beautiful traditional house transformed into a nice hotel called Jardín de San Bartolomé, located in the centre of the village, next to the church.
The house was built in 1840 on a garden belonging to the nearby church. It was named after Saint Bartolomew for at the end of the garden was a hermitage dedicated to the Saint.
It remained closed for 30 years until its recent restoration. The house stands surrounding a typical Castilian courtyard, covered by a skylight. It has been carefully decorated and we will enjoy its varied common areas such as the library, the dining room, the porch or the large garden.
Carrascosa del Campo is a small village located in the centre of Spain (Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha). It is surrounded by a landscape of small holm oaks between soft hills. The village has a population of 646 inhabitants and its economy is based mainly in agriculture and cattle raising.
Carrascosa is one hour to the East of Madrid. The village has a pharmacy and a Health Centre. There is a small hospital in the nearby village of Tarancón (25 km) and a general hospital in Cuenca (55 km), both available through highway. Carrascosa has a village pool, and there is also an artificial lake with plenty of leisure facilities by the river Valdejudíos.
The church of Our Lady of Nativity (centuries XV and XVI), the House of Scribes (1840) and the House-Palace of the Parada (centuries XVI and XVII) stand out among its monuments. In the countryside we can find excellent examples of popular architecture such as shepherd huts and the ancient sites form the Iron Age and Roman period of Madrigueras, Fuente de la Gota, Cerro de la Muela, and Villaverde and Valdejudíos from the medieval ages.
dates & fees
Program Dates 2017:
September 14 - September 28
Program Fees Include:
• Full Room and Board
• Fieldwork training
• Excursions and other activities (transportation, meals and entrances to museums, sites...)
• Transportation to and from airport on first and last days of program
• Daily transport to the site
• Medical Insurance
• Application fee
• Administrative costs
Your fee will go toward the research project.
Fees DO NOT include airfare.
To reserve a space, you must pay a $300 application fee. (Included in the price of the program).
The remainder of the program cost will be due by May 10th.
Application fees will be refunded if the applicant is not selected.
Rolling application. We accept applications until all spaces are filled.
Cancellation and Refund Policy:
-Before May 1st: All payments, except for $50 from the application fee, are refundable.
-Between May 1st and June 14th: Application fee non-refundable. The balance is refundable.
-After June 14th: All payments are non-refundable unless your application is rejected by the program director.
You should begin making travel arrangements as soon as your place in the group is reserved, and you should complete them upon being notified of your selection. We strongly recommend that participants purchase travel insurance to cover all needs including medical, accident, baggage loss, delays and personal liability. ArchaeoSpain is not a travel provider nor is a registered travel agent. Your travel arrangements to and from Spain are subject to the terms and conditions of your travel agency. In the rare event that the program is cancelled, ArchaeoSpain will refund program fees, but is not responsible for non-refundable airline or other tickets or payments or any similar penalties that may be incurred. It is your responsibility to protect yourself against airline and travel agency cancellation fees.
All ArchaeoSpain participants are covered with an insurance packet that provides medical and surgical treatment and prescription drugs in case of accident or sudden illness. This insurance also provides some compensation for baggage loss or theft. With your program packet we will send you more details regarding this coverage, but you may contact our staff for more information.
European students should bring an EHIC card with them.
Right of Refusal:
ArchaeoSpain reserves the right to refuse an applicant’s selection. This is a rare occurrence and is most likely due to a person’s inability to meet health requirements or in the interest of group compatibility. Once in the field, the program director and ArchaeoSpain reserve the right to send a participant away from the program should that person’s behaviour compromise the safety, research objectives and general performance of the group, or violate Spanish laws, regulations or customs.
PROGRAM AND SITE DIRECTORS
WORLD HERITAGE AND ROMAN SITES
Even though you will be immersed in Spanish daily life, it will be during the excursions where you will really get to meet different aspects of Spanish culture. We’ll visit world heritage cities as Toledo, Cuenca and its archaeological museum, the Roman city of Segóbriga, the monastery of Uclés and a Roman mine of lapis specularis.
Toledo, a unique place known as the city of the three cultures: Muslim, Christian and Jewish. You will have the opportunity to visit some examples like the mosque of the Cristo de la Luz, the synagogue of The Transito or the Cathedral. We’ll get lost in its narrow streets, have tapas at its terraces and we will also have time for some shopping. Lunch enjoining the view of the city and a visit to the convent of Santo Domingo the old that has some paintings from el Greco and theirs nuns continue baking one of the best marzipan in the world.
It is always interesting to visit the city of Cuenca, to enjoy the view of the fascinating hanging houses and spend some time at the Provincial Archaeological Museum, where a large collection of Roman material is exhibited, some of which belongs to Pulpon.
> Info on Cuenca <
The Roman City of Segobriga was the cultural, administrative and miner centre of a wide area in the heart of Spain. Plinius the Elder called it “caput celtiberiae”. It was founded by Iulius Caesar and thanks to the wealth brought by the lapis specularis mines in times of Augustus, an ambitious program of public constructions began: a great foro, the theatre, amphitheatre, termae, temples, and circus.
> Info on Segóbriga <
One evening we will approach the fortified city and monastery of Uclés, headquarters of knights of the medieval Order of Santiago. We’ll also go into one of the Roman mines of lapis specularis.
> Info on Uclés <
Zorita Castle, a medieval fortress build by the morish in the IX century that become later on head quarters of the knights of Calatrava. We will have lunch by the river Tajo, under the castle walls and visit the Visigothic city of Recopolis on the afternoon.
Some other surprises are waiting for us in Carrascosa and its surroundings, like cellars where some old folks still meet every day and are happy to invite us to a glass of wine prepared by themselves.
" Pulpon sits on top of a hill, so it gives you a completely unobstructed view of rolling hills covered in golden grasses and huge sunflower fields. Out there in the countryside, the only signs of modern civilization are a rarely used road and the aqueduct and wind turbines in the distance. And every morning, upon arriving at the site, you are greeted by the sun rising over the mountains..."
Jacob Klein, 2016 participant
" We also got to really experience Spanish culture—we lived in the small village of Carrascosa del Campo, very far from the tourist trail. We made friends in the town, relaxed in the plaza, took our siesta at the village pool, and (in my case) attended Mass in the beautiful 16th century church. For those three short weeks, we became a part of daily life in Carrascosa, an experience that was just as valuable as the excavation itself. "
Katherine Sargent, 2016 participant.