Point 4. The large Ibero-Roman constructions: building II

Point 4. The large Ibero-Roman constructions: building II

 

 

In the middle of the 2nd century BC the old Cerretanian settlement underwent major redevelopment, making it into a centre of power and regional control, turning it into a fortified settlement with large buildings. In some cases these constructions had a very specific function, like building III, of a symbolic/religious nature, or building IV, focused on producing metal goods; but in other cases the buildings were for living and working, like building II.

 

This consists of an elongated area with an irregular floor plan, to a great extent making use of the structures of three of the old Cerretanian houses. The newly-built walls are 45cm thick and with a length equivalent to the pertica. The building covers a total area of 203m2 and is divided into two parts.

 

The southern part: made up of three inter-connected rooms of the same size as the previously-existing houses, but each of them supporting an upper floor. The entrance to the building would have been in the westernmost of these rooms. All the floors were of beaten earth and the roofs were made of beams covered with branches. These areas were basically for residential use and to support work.

 

The northern part: this consisted of a large patio covering an area of nearly 100m2. The only division was a small elongated room on the eastern side. Next to it was a large basin cut into the ground. This was surrounded on three sides with high stone walls which only allowed access from the south. This was the only part of the patio that was covered.

 

The basin is cut out in a large oval measuring 4.5 x 3.5m, with a depth of at least 5m. In it water, snow or ice could be stored, all of them plentiful natural resources in the Cerdanya region. Snow and ice, apart from being a reserve of water, were highly valued for their ability to keep foodstuffs, but also among the higher social levels, as the taste for cold drinks in Roman society is well known. The contents were extracted using a block and tackle system, the counterweight for which was probably located in the centre of the patio.

 

Images: Ground plan of the structures of building II in red

Images: Hypothetical plan of the structures of building II

Illustration in colour: Axonometric view of building II, including part of the interior