ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF TURIASO

 

english version

 

Located in the ancient dungeons of the bishop palace of Tarazona (Bajos del Palacio street) since the year 2000, the Archaeological Museum of Tarazona offers a modest collection, thanks to the work and the effort of the archaeologist and scholars, above all, those who work and collaborate with the archaeology section of the Centre of Studies Turiasonenses, depending on the County Council of Zaragoza. Now you can see some of the most relevant archaeological pieces of this museum.

Now you can visit the web of this Museum in http://ceturiasonenses.org/museo.php; in the web there are many sections about the Celtiberians and the Romans and explanatory panels.

 

 

 

SOME PIECES OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF TARAZONA

 

 

 

Child head (I century a. C.)

made of marble (size: 15,5 cm x 10,7 cm x 12 cm)

 

In autochthonous marble, of low quality, this head is the work of a probably local sculptor, due to its not good result, the rigidity on its face and the poorly worked hair.  The head must be part of a complete statue, but the rest of the statue has not been found.  The head shows a lightly forced position; so, the scholars think that it could be part of a Cupid or other kind of small genii or minor divinities.  The erosion on the piece must be due to the inclemency of the water, because the scholars think that the statue could be in a garden.

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

Votive offering (I-II century a. C.)

made of bronze (size 5,2 cm x 1,8 cm)

 

This votive offering has the figure of a man in frontal position and with a recipient held by one of his hands; the man wears a cape with hood and short skirt; his facial features have been worked with some realism.  The piece seems to be related to the religious world and it could represent a priest or an offering with a recipient to make libations.  The professor Francisco Marco links this statue with similar figures found in Cyprus and Italia, related to an Egyptian god, Atis.

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

Faunus’ head (I-II century a. C.)

made of stone (size 11,4 cm x 8,3 cm)

 

This head was probably part of a complete statue whose body is not preserved.  Sculpturally the head shows classic features, it is well made and it has a good treatment of the hair.  The pointed ears, now broken, and the small horns in the hair mean that the head is a faunus’ head.  The fauni were Roman minor divinities linked to the woods and the nature, where they lived.  So, they are connected with Flora, the flowers’ goddess, with Ceres, the goddess of the fruits from the land, and Carmenta, the fountains’ goddess.  They are also connected with the parties, the flutes, the music and the sounds of the woods; in fact, the 5th December the Romans celebrated a festivity in their honour with music and dances.

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

Phallic pendant (II-III century a. C.)

made of bronze (size 3 cm)

 

Embellishments and amulets were very usual in the Roman world made of any kind of materials and shapes.  The phallic amulets had an apotropaic meaning, i. e., the Romans thought that these phallic amulets could protect those who wore them and kept the misfortunes and damages away from those who wore them.  In fact, on the walls of the cities and in some houses the Romans put these phallic bas-relieves with the same function.  The phallic amulet was one of the favourites among the Roman soldiers as a symbol of their virile and sexual strength.  This amulet was designed with a small ring to be hung with a chain or a string from the neck.  The different parts of the male member were represented with high realism.

 

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

Military diploma (between 140 and 154 a. C.)

made of bronze (size 2,4 cm x 3,6 cm x 0,1 cm)

 

The auxiliary soldiers who had accomplished 25 years of military service received at the end of it the honourable discharge, called honesta missio, which was documented and accompanied by a military diploma where their Roman citizenship and their marriages were recognized.  The diploma consisted of two bronze small boards written both on their both sides; one of the small boards was deposited in the official archives in Rome and the other one was carried by the soldier who had received it.  The diploma is a very important testimony because they are scarce, it is written on both sides and it offers personal and military information.  The diploma’s carrier and owner should go off to live in Turiaso.  The text, although the small board is broken in all parts, has been restored so:

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

Text side B: [---] EMER[ITIS] D[IM(ISSIS) HON(ESTA) MISS(IONE)] | [QUORUM NOMI]N(A) SUBSC[R(IPTA) SUNT C(IVITATEM) R(OMANAM)] | [QUI EOR]U(M) NON H[ABERENT DEDIT] | [---]

Translation Side B: [--- after ? years] of service discharged [ with an honourable retirement,] whose names are related further down, [the Roman citizenship to] those who did not have it [conceded]”.

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

Text side A: [---] | [---] AUG(USTUS) VO[---] | [---E]QUIT(IBUS) ET PE[DIT(IBUS) QUI MILITAVERUNT) IN ] | [COH(ORTE)] ¿IIII? NERVI(ORUM) C(IVIUM) R(OMANORUM) | [---] ET SUNT IN BR(ITANNIA SUB ---] | [---Q]UINQ(UE) ET VIGIN(TI) STIPEND(IS) EMERIT(IS) DIMISS(IS) ] | [HON(ESTA) QUORU[M NOMIN(A) SUBSC(IPTA) SUNT IPSIS] | [LIBERIS POS]TE[RISQUE EORUM CIVITATEM DEDIT… | [---]

Translation Side A:  “[---] | [---] Augustus VO[---] | [---] to the ¿cavalrymen and infantrymen? [who served in the cohort ¿IV? of the los Nervio, Roman citizens, | [--- (and probably in other cities)] and they are in Britannia [under the command of ---] | after twenty five years of service discharged | with an honourable] retirement, whose [names are related further down, to these, | to their sons and] descendants [conceded the citizenship … | [---]”.

 

 

 

 

Sarcophagus (III century a. C.)

made of marble (sice 1,76 m x 0,46 m x o,40 m)

 

Due to the decoration and the iconographical motives, similar to those of other sarcophagi found along the Roman Empire, this is an imported piece that indicates the wealth of the dead.  The sarcophagus was located in the Carmen’s church in Tarazona, where it was used as washbasin; so we have to think that it was found not very far away from the church.  In the centre of the sarcophagus the clipeus, a round figure with the shape of a clipeus (a round shield) carved on the marble, was erased to sculpt the image of the Carmelites, a cross.  Under the clipeus there are two horns of plenty –cornucopiae- ; on the corners there are a representation of the spring, on the right, and the summer, on the left.  The intermediate parts are strigilatae, i. e., there are curved lines parallel repeated that imitate a strigilum –a kind of scraper-; some of these lines have rest of red painting. 

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

Mosaic (III century a. C.)

made of tesseras in limestone and other minerals (size 2,34 m x 1,25 m)

 

Mosaics have hardly been preserved in Tarazona and its county.  The only one partially preserved –we have news of some other during the XX century- is this mosaic found in Tudela street.  It is composed of polychromic tesserae in green, white, ochre, black and grey.  The central zone had secant circles that make flowers with four petals and with a square in the middle; in a transition zone we can see two series of triple fillets that frame a twist border that goes through the entire perimeter.  The preserved closing shows, inside a square closed by a thick fillet, two griffins that are on themselves’ back with a cratera –a kind of vessel- in the centre.  The griffin is a mythical and fantastic animal, half lion, half eagle, considered a protector element and related to Bacchus, the god of the wine, symbolized by the cratera.

 

(Photo: Roberto Lérida Lafarga  21/03/2008)

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCES:

- AA.VV.:  El Moncayo.  Diez años de investigación arqueológica prólogo de una labor de futuro, Tarazona, 1989

- AA.VV.:  Las aguas sagradas del Municipium Turiaso.  Excavaciones en el patio del Colegio Joaquín Costa (Antiguo Allué Salvador). Tarazona (Zaragoza), (Caesaraugusta 76), Zaragoza, 2004

- GARCÍA SERRANO, José Ángel: Arqueología del Moncayo.  Catálogo de la exposición permanente, Tarazona, 2003