El Ruedo


The Archaeological Zone of El Ruedo is located near the town of Almedinilla. A Roman villa is documented, with a residential space and another one of production, inhabited from the 1st to the 7th century, and with a burial necropolis with individual and collective tombs normally covered with stone slabs, which were part of the final phase of the Hispano-Roman culture,
The necropolis, located northwest of the town, is located on the southeast slope of the Sierra de los Judíos, at a height of about 700 meters. His remains were all found without funerary boxes and with simple trousseaus. Several types of tomb were discovered, some tombs were excavated on the rock, and in the successive were reused certain sectors with the opening of new tombs in the land that already covered the oldest,

The tombs are usually of rectangular type, with rounded angles and their decks are slabs of squared or carved limestone, or slabs of slate.

Unlike the necropolis, of which there are no remains visible at present, the excavated part of the village can be visited. The construction is Hellenistic and its “urban pars” has a good state of preservation. Of the «pars rustica» some units were excavated, being in a worse state of conservation. Its dates are first half of the 1st century and V.
4 phases of construction have been discovered
The first phase, probably of the first half of S. I, shows a structure of marked agricultural character. A patio was built around it and the walls are of poor quality, composed of stones created with mud mortar.
The second phase is during the second century. Of this time they are the peristyle, with its gallery supported on columns, great part of the delimited spaces and the constructions of industrial or agricultural character located to the east.
The third phase, from the end of the third century or the beginning of the fourth century and possibly late until the fifth century, shows a series of transformations of the previous floor that will give the town its moment of greatest splendor.

To this period belong the restructuring of the peristyle and the construction of the nymphaeum and the “stibadium”, the “hipocaustum” and the possible “praefurnium”, the modifications of the cistern and the mosaic and pictorial decoration of all the rooms that open onto the patio, in the central and western sectors of the town.
The fourth phase, dated to the middle of the fifth century, corresponds to a group of pools and canalizations made in the eastern sector of the village, the bread oven, the home and the possible metallurgical furnace.

The residential part of the villa is structured around a peristyle, around which the different rooms are distributed. The peristyle forms a gallery, supported in a first phase on eight columns of limestone, whose pavements are mosaic. The central fountain was later built, also closing the peristyle with a low wall that replaced the columns and that created a large pond, its walls covered with “opus signinum” on the outside and paintings on stuccoes inside.
To the north of the peristyle stands out for its dimensions and decoration a room, which was accessed through a three-part door. Its walls were covered by marble slabs and its floor was made of polychrome mosaic, all of which remains remains today.
Associated to the nymphaeum, an ultrasemicircular brick structure covered with “opus signinum” was built and decorated imitating mottled marble. It is a “stibadium” transformed into a fountain, for which lead pipes were placed connecting the nymphaeum and the central source of the peristyle. The floor of “opus signinum” was covered at some points and some areas of the walls were decorated with polychrome paintings of architectural scheme on stucco.
The mosaics are of «opus tesellatum» are decorating the pavements of eight rooms. They are a total of 17 mosaics, in black and white and with polychrome and geometric shapes
The sculptures found are also found: a group that represents the legend of Perseus and Andromeda, between the end of the 1st century or the beginning of the 2nd; a sculpture of the myth of Télefos, of the first half of the second century and a bronze representation of Hypnos or Somnus, smaller than the natural size, possibly from the second quarter of the second century.