null Yacimiento - Monte do Castro

A complex site

Archaeologists have uncovered different elements that have given shape to a more complex site than was originally expected. We can make out several sectors with totally different building remains and uses.

Considering the results of the archaeological excavations carried out here, we can distinguish between three phases in the occupation of the site:

  • The initial occupation, between the end of the 5th century BCE and the middle of the 4th century BCE, corresponding to the post holes and ditches, some of which cut into the granite substratum, left by the huts made out of perishable materials.

  • The second phase, between the 2nd century BCE and the beginning of the 1st century BCE, witnessed the petrification of the previous structures and a new urban redistribution. The huts were now circular and oval in shape, and vary in size. The building of the wall began during this phase.

  • The final phase of occupation brought with it the most significant urban restructuring, the settlement now surrounded by a great wall reaching almost 5 metres in places. New structures were superimposed onto the previous ones and significant movement of earth and land accumulation were undertaken to build terraces. Social inequalities were to emerge, leading to architectural differences in the housing structures.

In the middle of the 1st century, the castro was abandoned, possibly as a consequence of a terrible fire that affected most of the settlement. This was to be the end of a place and of a culture. With the arrival of the Romans to the north-west of the Iberian peninsula, new customs and new economic resources would emerge, society would change and the culture that had gone before would undergo profound changes, with the appearance of new types of settlements, such as the villae, vicus or cities.

The hillfort would never be inhabited again, although at some time in the 3rd century a small treasure haul of 15 Roman coins was buried when the wall collapsed.

A visual command of the river and farmlands

This archaeological site is situated on a hill with a commanding view over the lower valley of the River Umia and the nearby farmlands. During the final phase of its occupation, the castro grew to a considerable size and it is thought to have accommodated up to 3000 people. This phase brought with it the most significant urban restructuring and building of new structures. The large surplus of cereals led to a growth in the population and the need to build storage, granary-like structures to preserve the cereals farmed on the land surrounding the castro.