Point 7. The granary area
During the Cerretanian phase of the site, in the western part of the central public space there was a an area with silos, a place for large-scale storage.
In the 4th century BC this area did not exist, and the silos were located inside the houses. At this time they were cylindrical in section, with a diameter of 1.5-1.8m and a depth of 1.2-1.3m, giving an average capacity of about 2m3. From the second half of the 3rd century BC they began to be located outside the houses and were slightly bigger, reaching depths of 1.7-1.9m and capacities of up to 3m3. In the first half of the 2nd century BC the silos were finally concentrated in one place. They now reached diameters of 2m and depths of 2.7-3m, with volumes of 4-5m3.
Strangely enough, many of the silos were filled in during the alterations in the mid-2nd century BC. It is therefore likely that during the republican period grain was kept in specific stores, or concentrated on another site specialising in this function.
A silo is a pit dug out of the ground, with a circular mouth and more or less spherical in profile, which was used for storing products, basically cereals. Once full the opening at the top was covered, either with a large flat stone as a lid or with a simple bed of earth and straw. Once the little oxygen remaining inside had been consumed, the constant humidity and temperature in the silo preserved its contents, stopping them germinating.
Storing agricultural produce in large amounts met the need to keep seeds to be sowed the following year, to keep reserves of food in case of bad harvests and/or simply to store surpluses for trading.
Image: Ground plan of the structures of the granary area marked in red
Image: Seeds from El Castellot
Illustration in colour: Axonometric view of the granary area showing its different periods of use and operation