Eastern Quarter

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Brief description: 

Since 2010, the Moroccan-Spanish project EAT ("Economy and Craft in Tamuda") has focused its attention on the study of the chaînes opératoires of various craft activities, from pottery to cereal grinding (Bernal-Casasola et al., 2020a), also paying attention to the palaeoenvironment and primary productions, as is the case of local/regional amphorae production (Bernal-Casasola et alii, 2019).

In the case of the Mauritanian city, the investigations have focused on the so-called Eastern Quartier, a large area excavated by M. Tarradell in the ‘50s, that had remained unpublished until the recent publication of the handwritten documentation of M. Tarradell’s personal archive (Bernal-Casasola et al., 2021). Various excavation campaigns have been carried out in the so-called Oriental Buildings 7 (EO7) and 8 (EO8), located close to the eastern gate of the Roman military camp. These are large buildings, organized in very elongated insulae (blocks) and separated by streets, which suffered a generalized traumatic abandonment at the Early I c. BC, perhaps at the time when Sertorius came to the area for the aid of the Mauritanian kings -Late ‘80s of the I c. BC- (Bernal-Casasola et al., 2018). The re-study of the old excavations and the new stratigraphic sondages of the EAT project have verified that the city was subjected to an intentional sudden abandonment, at least in this entire sector corresponding to two hectares, as confirmed by the finding inside the rooms of many personal belongings and elements for grinding and storage, especially amphorae. These last were found in primary position under the ceilings and on the occupation floors. All these elements point out that these structures were intentionally demolished (Bernal-Casasola et al., 2020b). This situation is one of the various episodes of destruction that the Mauritanian city suffered throughout its history, and which continued later during the Roman occupation, as shown by various inscriptions and levels of destruction with signs of conflagration. These destruction horizons give an image of insecurity to which the military establishment was subjected, as it was besieged several times (Bernal-Casasola, Del Hoyo and Ghottes, 2018). These archaeological contexts constitute an exceptional arena for the study of construction techniques, material culture and many other aspects of Mauritanian society, since the state of conservation of the structures and the finds is exceptional.

Researchers: 
  • Mario Gutiérrez Rodríguez (Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Arqueología Ibérica, Universidad de Jaén): Geoarchaeology, micrormorphology
  • Darío Bernal Casasola (Universidad de Cádiz, Spain): Archaeology, material culture
  • Jose Juan Díaz Rodríguez (Universidad de Cádiz, Spain): Archaeology, material culture
  • José Manuel Vargas Girón (Universidad de Málaga): Archaeology, material culture
Bibliography: 
  1. Bernal Casasola, D., Bustamante-Álvarez, M., Díaz Rodríguez, J.J., Expósito Álvarez, J.A., Moujoud, T., 2018. Tamuda revisitada. De la primera destrucción ¿sertoriana ? al foso del castellum (2014-2018). Antiquités Africaines 54, 53–84.

  2. Bernal Casasola, D., Díaz, J.J., Bustamante Álvarez, M., Pascual, M.A., Fantuzzi, L., Retamosa, J.A., Ghottes, M., 2019. Tamuda y las ánforas mauritanas occidentales. Apuntes tipológicos y arqueométricos. Herom. Journal on Hellenistic and Roman Material Culture 8, 155–210.

  3. Bernal Casasola, Darío, Hoyo, J. del, Ghottès, M., 2018. Fugatis ho[stibus]: Nouvelle inscription commémorative du castellum de Tamuda (Maurétanie Tingitane), in: Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik 205 (2018). Habelt, Bonn, pp. 291–296.

  4. Bernal-Casasola, D., Bustamante-Álvarez, M., Díaz, J.J., López-Sáez, J.A., Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, M., Vargas Girón, J.M., Portillo-Sotelo, J.L., Pascual Sánchez, M.A., Moujoud, T., 2020a. Milling Cereals/Legumes and Stamping Bread in Mauretanian Tamuda (Morocco): An Interdisciplinary Study. African Archaeological Review 38, 175–209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-020-09413-7

  5. Bernal-Casasola, D., Bustamante-Álvarez, M., Expósito, J.A., Verdugo, J., Pascual, M.A., Lara, M., Vargas, J.M., Castellano, A., Parodi-Álvarez, M., Retamosa, J.A., Portillo, J.L., Ghottes, M., Moujoud, T., 2020b. Ánforas y microespacio en Tamuda. Avance del contexto mauritano del Barrio Oriental, in: Viegas, C. (Ed.), Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautorum. Presented at the Acta 46, Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 599–610.

  6. Bernal-Casasola, D., Ramos-Muñoz, J., Kbiri Alaoui, M., Tarradell-Font, N., Zouak, M. (Eds.), 2021. Gar Cahal y Tamuda en el Archivo Tarradell. Historiografía y Arqueología en el norte de África Occidental, Etudes et Travaux d’Archéologie Marocaine. INSAP, Editorial UCA Universidad de Cádiz, Rabat.