Badalona recovers its Roman past with Via Augusta dig
Excavation in city north of Barcelona reveals 40-meter stretch of first-century BC Roman road
The Via Augusta was the most important road in Hispania, or Roman Spain, and excavations on a stretch of the ancient thoroughfare discovered not long ago in the city of Badalona, just north of Barcelona, will soon be completed.
The remains of the road were discovered during construction work in the Coll i Pujol neighborhood, and have been dated to the beginning of the first century BC, when the city known as Baetulo to the Romans was founded.
The accidental discovery is one of the most important of its kind ever unearthed in Badalona, and the find goes a long way to confirming the theory that Baetulo was one of the Roman Empire's most significant hubs.
"Few stretches of road like this from this time period have been excavated"
Clara Forn · Badalona Museum
Apart from the 40-meter long, 5.5-meter wide stretch of road, also discovered were the remains of metal workshops, funerary sites, a monumental building, and a mausoleum dating back to the 4th century BC.
The remains were found some 350 meters from the former city's western gate, and while still being studied, archeologists have been able to date the stretch of road from the type of paving used in its construction.
Road used "to Romanize the territory," says expert
"Few stretches of road like this from this time period have been excavated," says Clara Forn from Badalona Museum, who added that "it's a very important element for learning more about these thoroughfares that served to Romanize the territory."
Once the excavation is over, the BeCorp construction firm that funded the dig plans to display part of the remains in the building that will go up on the site, making it the first place in Catalonia displaying a stretch of the Via Augusta.
Meanwhile, the rest of the remains recovered during the excavation, which is being carried out by the Global Geomàtica firm under the supervision of archeologist, Mikel Soberón, will go on display in the city's museum.