An unexpected finding: The plug of the Roman de Valentia Circus

Back wall made of gravestones

Back wall made of gravestones

In 1996 Culture European Commission approved a project that had been introduced to restore the baroque mausoleum and recover the memory of Constanza Hohenstaufen, daughter of Federico II.

It was an interdisciplinary project, with European and Mediterranean implications, therefore the character itself, as the trajectory of his life and the religious-military order that welcomed his grave, the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

In 1996-97 Excavations began in the South Patio de San Juan del Hospital, in the old courtyard of the Brotherhood of Santa Barbara; Constanza Empress mausoleum Greece.

View of the mouth of pudridero s. XIV

View of the mouth of pudridero s. XIV

his first burial that divined from what was left of a primitive bow-solio sought, attached to what looked like a "go" deathly, the pudridero, but ... it appeared a crypt!. A crypt of considerable size. And by deepening, it came to a masonry wall, about 50 cm. thick and plaster on one side and the other not.

He divided what looked like the floor of the crypt: on one side of the wall, lime mortar with pebbles, across sand and more sand ....

Carlos Gómez Bellard, head of archeology at the Faculty of Geography and History at the University of Valencia and Enrique Dies Cusi, archaeologist, director of the company Entorn for archaeological excavations, They did not hesitate, it was a Roman.

View of the crypt

View of the crypt

They requested the opinion of Albert Ribera, historian and archaeologist specializing in the Roman period, What (with great joy) He confirmed the finding: was the circus spina city of Valentia, del s. III. The sought and controversial Roman circus!

That section of stones and filling, stuccoed on the outside, Ribera confirmed what I was saying earlier time, the existence of a large circus that demonstrated the importance of the Roman Valentia, overshadowed by the proximity of the famous Saguntum.

The other wall of the spina, which would run parallel to the first, It was under the lateral wall of the crypt this, possibly serving support.

A few years after prospecting with georadar allowed to "see" the situation and quality of the material caked, continuing homogeneous and firm during a considerable extent: the sand.

Lacrimario and jar of essences and drink

Lacrimario and jar of essences and drink

Among the first layers small daily remains of the inhabitants of then found: jars essence or lacrimarios, cups, bracelets and beads necklace.

After years of limitation for visiting this finding in San Juan del Hospital, It is now open to the public. It has been necessary to protect visitors from a fall, and to be trodden spina. It was necessary to think about adequate lighting, put explanatory cartouches, standardize access, In one word: museumization the centenary space.

One of the commitments made to the European Commission of Culture was to be recovering the environment of the site. As this has been done along these almost twenty-five years.

Roman objects

Roman objects

Plug the Roman Circus

Plug the Roman Circus

Islamic background levels and Circo Romano

Islamic background levels and Roman circus

Plano Roman Circus Valentia

Plano Roman Circus Valentia

Location of the stands of the Roman Circus of Valencia in the Church of San Juan del Hospital by GEORADAR