Systematic Research Project at the Archaeological Site of Carranque (Toledo)

Aerial view of the palatial structure (Photo: Carranque research team)

The archaeological site of Carranque stands on the northern border of the modern-day province of Toledo, on a broad fluvial terrace on the right bank of the River Guadarrama. Since 2004, a joint research team from the Autonomous University of Madrid and the National Distance Learning University has been studying this site and pursuing several lines of research. One is the study of the settlement’s productive orientation, having excavated and examined a torcularium used to make oil and wine that was active throughout the fourth century. A second is the analysis of the decorative marmora used in the palatial structure on this site, built between the late fourth and early fifth century; more than 40 different types (varieties of porphyry, granite, limestone and marble) from the leading Mediterranean quarries have been identified to date. Thirdly, special attention has been paid to the Visigothic necropolis where over one hundred tombs, occupying what was once the floor of the late Roman palatial edifice, have been identified thus far.

These lines of research revolve around the historical analysis of the site, based on a rigorous chronostratigraphic examination which has allowed us to trace the historical evolution of its occupation, which was continuous from the third century until the early 20th century.

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