La Caridad and Archaeological Sites
La Caridad is the name given to the Archaeological Site located in the municipality of Caminreal (Teruel), whose remains are part of an old Roman city, whereby the High Jiloca territory was managed during the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C.
The site covers a slightly elevated platform over the Jiloca river bed, with a total extension of 12,5 hectares, an area much larger than usual in the Iberian sites of this region, suggesting an urban or semi-urban character of the settlement. The destruction of the town happened due to the conflicts between Sertorio and Pompeyo in the first third of the 1st century BC. The metropolis was completely destroyed by wars, which had allowed the presence of abundant material among its ruins.
We are in a Celtiberian area, in the centre of the historic way that connects the Mediterranean sea with the mid Ebro river valley and with the Plateau through the fluvial network -Turia, Jiloca, Huerva, Jalón and Ebro-.
The Archaeological Site is considered as the most important one in Comarca del Jiloca, and one of the most interesting sites in the Roman Aragon, as for its conservation status as for its quantity, variety and interest of its material culture. This city, whose real name is unknown for us, was discovered in 1983 and it is one of the best urban complex of the Late Republican Roman period in the Ebro Valley.
It represents an indispensable testimony of the Romanization process of the Peninsula Iberica, as the city was founded after the conquest of a great part of the Celtiberia -after the Numancia conquest- and was unpopulated after the Sertorian War, one of the Civil War chapters with which the Roman Republic was liquidated.
Here you can see an explanatory video about “The Caridad” Archaeological Site in Caminreal:
The Archaeological Sites:
Comarca del Jiloca has other interesting Archaeological Sites. The Celtiberian used to live in small towns, barely in a dozen semi-detached houses and surrounded by strong walls, which still preserved some examples in Sierra Menera, Gallocanta and the upper part of the Jiloca Valley. They were towns built for farmers and sheperds, as usual in all the mountainous areas, although they also took advantage of the abundant iron mineral existing in Ojos Negros and nearby places, giving honour and fame to the pre-Roman towns for being good blacksmiths.
The arrival of the Roman legions marked a substantial changes of the population. In order to make easier the Romanization process of the indigenous and impose a new productive system towns emerged. The first one appeared in the fluvial terraces of Caminreal, in the starting point of La Caridad. As the historical events were passing through, the location of the town changed, moving to the St. Esteban´s hill in El Poyo del Cid, also to the Fuentes Claras´s hill. At the mountains the small towns continued its activities, built habitually around a fountain or near to a drinking water supply.
Since then, the cultural heritage of the antiquity has remained, as it has done the landscape, influencing and determining the human activities. The Jiloca Valley has still being the main communication axis, building beautiful bridges and making sacred some strategic points, like Entrambasaguas, in the confluence of the Jiloca and Pancrudo rivers. Other current localities like Calamocha and Monreal del Campo, have replaced the primitive urban centres and in the mountain ranges, the small towns, heirs of the Celtiberians are struggling for survival.