The archeological site

The site of Castrolandín, located approximately 1 km from the center of Cuntis, belongs to the end of the Iron Age.

Castrolandín is a medium-sized castro, inhabited at the end of the Celtic culture by approximately 100 people. As far as we know, it was built at the beginning of the second century before Christ and abandoned at the end of the first century after Christ, never to be occupied again. By then, in what is now the town of Cuntis, a Roman settlement was already developing next to its thermal waters.

The defenses of the town were a deep moat and high walls, of which remains are still preserved below the surface. To build them they raised a parapet  around the village using the land that resulted from digging the ditch. The parapet was supported by retaining walls. Later, at the top of the parapet, they built a small stone wall. In its time, here the set of defenses could reach the 5 meters de altura.

 

The inhabitants of Castrolandín worked to build these defenses, but it is not easy to find an explanation for so much work. A community like the one that would live here would be mostly made up of farmers. A small number of guerrillas within each community would be enough to generate a climate of insecurity. On the other hand, we know that the clashes were not on a large scale, since we did not find towns violently destroyed in an appreciable quantity. The threat of robbery or other specific violent acts may be enough to build structures like this. The defenses would also be an expression of the power of the town. They would have a value of ostentation and persuasion towards the outside. And, why not, in a society controlled to a certain extent by a warrior elite, the walls could also be a way of closing the town in on itself, of controlling its own inhabitants, as the walls of medieval cities.

The current appearance of the remains throughout the site is the product of the consolidation work. The constructions were reinforced and sometimes increased, without making imaginative reconstructions, to better protect them. Originally the walls were built with a clay mortar. In the consolidation, a more solid mass of lime was used, which does not damage the stones and can be easily removed. The point from which the structures were rebuilt is marked with a darker lime line.. 

 

During excavations in the town, which began in 2004, the remains of 18 different constructions have been documented. Of them, today you can see 10; those that we were able to conserve and explain better. There are three open excavation sectors.

The first of them extends over the stone that centers the town; there we have a small housing complex with a circular and oval shape. In that part of the town its original entrance is found.

The second sector is located in the flat area of the castro. Everything is different here: the constructions are bigger, and their shape is more varied.

The third sector of excavation is located in the walls.

You can find much more information about the site in the TAPA magazine published by the Instituto de Estudos Galegos Padre Sarmiento, coordinated by Xurxo M. Ayán Vila. It can be downloaded for free at the following link: https://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/6164/1/TAPA29.pdf