Archaeological perspectives on the siege of Numantia : the new fieldwork project at the Roman camps at Renieblas (Spain, 2nd-1st c. BCE)

Jiménez, A. and Bermejo, J. and Liceras-Garrido, Raquel and Moreno, F. and Tardio, K. (2018) Archaeological perspectives on the siege of Numantia : the new fieldwork project at the Roman camps at Renieblas (Spain, 2nd-1st c. BCE). In: Conflict Archaeology : Materialities of Collective Violence from Prehistory to Late Antiquity. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology . Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138502116

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Recent studies have highlighted the need to understand violence not as an action taking place at a particular moment in time, but as a continuum of various interconnected forms of violence, including structural violence, everyday micro-violence and exceptional public violence (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois, 2004: 1–5: Žižek, 2008). In that respect our project at the Roman camps near Numantia (Renieblas, Spain, 2nd- 1st c. BCE) intends to go beyond traditional studies of the Roman army centred around particular battles and generals mentioned by the Roman sources to understand how the colonial machinery that subjugated the provinces was created and maintained over a period of 200 years during the Late Republic (late 3rd–late 1st centuries BC) (Erdkamp, 2007: 108–111). To that end, the archaeological study of Renieblas, one of the earliest and largest areas of Roman camps in the Mediterranean, where at least five camps were discovered in the early 20th century, is particularly relevant. The camps were involved in the conquest of the early province of Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal) and the siege of the native Celtiberian settlement at Numantia, which resulted in Rome’s annexation of much of the Iberian Peninsula in 133 BCE. During the fieldwork seasons of 2015 and 2016 we excavated trial trenches in two selected sectors of the earliest camps at Renieblas (Camps I, II) and studied for the first time the material culture of the site using modern archaeological techniques and methodology. The goal of the project is not only to contribute to discussions on the origins of the Roman Empire and colonialism and the role of the community of soldiers in that process, but also to an anthropological debate about the material traces of domination, resistance and violence, beyond the specific battles and campaigns recorded by the ancient sources.

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22 Jun 2019 01:04
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16 Jul 2024 04:38