Monthly Archives: August 2019

The archaeological collection of the Bética Hotel (Pias)

For many years Mr. Victor Hugo, founder and owner of Hotel Bética in Pias, was the
faithful keeper of the many archaeological materials that kept being found around the village.
We owe him the preservation of this objects that otherwise will lost or sell for the best price.
This interesting collection can be seen on the hotel lobby, namely coins, tegula, loom weights, glandes, rings, a small bronze figurine of a goat, and three inscriptions. Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact provenance of these findings as Mr Hugo couldn’t finalize the inventory of the collection due to his sudden death. Only his incredible collection of more than 200 Roman coins were subjected to a preliminary study in 2017 by Marco Paulo Valente but the work didn’t have any continuation.

Some of the archaeological materials on display at the hotel lobby

The collection includes also three stones apparently with the same inscription found close to the village :

We are tempted to associate these inscriptions to 5 ‘dolia‘ stamps connected to the high-medieval period found in the region containing the following inscription: «Eclesiae Sanctae Mariae Lacaltensis Agripi» (Canto, 1997; Wolfram, 2011). Thus the inscription could be read with some reserve as S(an)c(ta) La(caltense) D(ea) M(ariae) A(gripi). In this context, the stones could be landmarks delimiting the territory of the Lacaltenses. Curiously, in the Museum of Moura there’s a Roman inscription (a statue pedestal) dedicated to Iulia Agripa by the civitas Aruccitana (CIL II 963). Could they be related?

Canto, Alicia M. (1997)- “Epigrafía Romana de la Beturia Céltica”. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Valente, Marco P. (2017) – “Circulação monetária na Freguesia de Pias (Concelho de Serpa, Distrito de Beja). Quando Roma era Império”. in «Scientia Antiquitatis», vol. 1, nr. 2.
Wolfram, Mélanie (2011) – “Uma síntese sobre a cristianização do mundo rural no sul da Lusitânia”. FLUL – PhD Thesis.

Coordinates: 38.022248, -7.480839

Milestone from Úl at Oliveira de Azemeis

Milestone in a central square of Oliveira de Azeméis but found in a village nearby called Úl. It marks 12 miles presumably to Langobriga (Fiães, Santa Maria da Feira). This milestone probably marked also the boarder between the civitates of Langobriga and Talabriga (next to Vouga river). Coordinates: 40.840254, -8.477716

vide route here –

Milestones from Barrelas at Guarda Museum

Two milestones found in a site called Barrelas close to Famalicão da Serra now on display in Guarda Museum. One is dedicated to Emperor Constantinus and the other to Emperor Tacitus still showing the 4 miles to Centum Cellae (Catraia da Torre, Belmonte)

vide route here –

Milestone on the Chapel of Santa Marta (Chaves)

Two fragments of a milestone on yard of the Chapel of Santa Marta in Vila Frade (Chaves), close to the Spanish border. Fragment has no inscription and was probably the lower part of the milestone; Fragment 2 still has vestiges of an inscription dedicated to Marcus Aurelius Carinus that ruled the Empire from 283 to 285 AD. This Roman road coming from Aquae Flaviae (Chaves) continues through Lama de Arcos in the direction of Tameirón where another milestone was found. Coordinates: 41.807986, -7.410070

vide route here –

Milestones at Alcafozes

(Originally published on November 9, 2013)

A milestone found in the village of Alcafozes (Idanha-a-Nova) (today at the «Epigraphical Museum» of Idanha-a-Velha) signals the Via Igaedis (Idanha-a-Velha) – Emerita (Mérida) that crossed the village in the direction of the Roman bridge of Segura. Besides this one, in the village there are two more cylinder-shaped stones that could be originally milestones. One was reused in a wall of the village with coordinates: 39.949778, -7.119426

The other one is placed in the corner of a street intersection next to the Parish Church without any tace of letters; coordinates: 39.949731,-7.119369