null Yacimiento - Adro Vello

Roman villa, salting factory, church and necropolis

Little is known of the site, despite its evident interest. Past excavation campaigns were not carried out with the appropriate archaeological methodology and currently the remains of several structures from different chronological eras can be seen without the visitor having a clear idea of the site’s evolution. Pending future interventions to extend the excavated area, it has been possible to establish preliminary datings between the 1st and 17th centuries.

Data from initial interventions denotes the presence of a salting factory, perhaps associated with a Late Roman town (or one prior to this). Subsequently, on top of the Roman settlement, an ecclesiastical building and a burial necropolis were added, and some of the tombs are indeed still visible today. Finally, a tower was installed and the structures monumentalised, perhaps to protect and watch over the ria of Arousa in the event of Viking invasions.

One of the most unique findings from the site is the coin depicting the Translatio (transfer), dated in the 12th century, an initial representation of the legend relating to the transfer of the body of St. James the Apostle from Palestine to Compostela, across the Mediterranean sea and along the Iberian peninsula’s Atlantic coast to the ria of Arousa. This is the legend that inspired the Way of St. James. The coin was minted when the construction work on Santiago Cathedral was beginning and the myth surrounding the apostle taking root. Today, thousands are the pilgrims who follow the Way of St. James as it crosses the province of Pontevedra. 

The action of the sea

The site is located beside Carreiro beach, at the foot of a rocky hill and immediately south of a small river which flows out into the sea across the beach. The archaeological remains are situated on a low stretch of coastline and protected by Punta do Castriño to the west and Punta de Barceliña and the Barceliñas islands to the east. Between both points is a line of rocky outcrops which protects the waterfront from the ocean’s breaking waves, although every year it surrenders to the natural action of the sea, which causes irreparable damage and losses.