Huesca thematic

Number 43. October of 2001. Spanish language  Principal menu

Roman Huesca (Osca)

     The strategic situation of Osca is known (Roman Huesca), protected by the Isuela river in its Oriental part and for its location in height (490 m. in the Cathedral). Its form was oval, with Northeast-southeast longitudinal axis. Without a doubt, it had a Forum where they crossed the main roads (`Kardo maximus' = of North to South) and `Decumanus maximus' (of This to West) from those that were derived the other streets. This way, the city was divided in 4 parts: sinistra, dextra, ántica and póstica. Naturally, the layout was not rectilinear but adapted to the sinuosity of the land giving irregular spaces and groups of houses, or internal spaces.
    The Forum could be in the current square of the cathedral, between that same one and the City council. The level of the floor is given by the mosaic of the council where the hypothetical longitudinal axis coincides, that would come from San Lorenzo's Square, Square of San Pedro, Zarandia street , Square of the Cathedral, street of QuintoSertorio Romans remains in the village of  Apiés until arriving at the University (without surpassing it). The decumanal axis could be Costanilla of Ricafort and street of Doña Petronila.
    There is a digged groundplot among street of Las Cortes and the Square of the Cathedral that has demonstrated that it has been used the Roman stone for the foundation of later works. In this place was found a floored that it could be the own pavement of the Roman square, since there is absence of having rotated in it; (it is known that could not go cars by the Forum). By the buildings it has not been discovered anything; there is only an enormous arm that belongs to a sculpture in brass of big proportions that is conserved in the Provincial Museum.
     Under the basement of the Delegation Palace, they are some walls in `Opus quadratum' that possibly corresponds to a suburban village (outside of the city); in it they are a good number of loom weights.
     The water was one of the concerns of the Romans who were skilled with the hydraulic engineering and they elaborated complicated nets of distribution of the drinkable water and evacuation of the polluted ones. There are discoveries in the groundplot of the Square of Lizana (a canalization), with inferior level to that of the street. They devised diverse methods; from the excavation of artificial wells (water in surface), tunnels and galleries (water underground and of rain) to sources poured to cisterns. They were distributed by sectors and neighborhoods (so for example, that of the Temper) and they made sure the arrival of water to high bench marks by means of masonry channels, ceramic or lead. The black waters was spilled to works of underground masonry that were cleaned by the `Curatores cloacarum', and in general drained to the river, although in occasions they made it to the same streets or to outside; it seems to have a reference to the exit of a sewer next to the old Episcopal Palace. Example of the concern for the hygiene and cleaning of the Romans, they are the thermal baths and bathrooms; they were likewise, meeting places. Some authors locate these dependences behind the City council. Remains of the `Hypocastrum' of other thermal baths they appear between the church of the Company and the Square of the Market. Less sure it is the information, of other thermal baths (under the medieval ones) in the old Provincial Residence. There are domestic remains (floors of mortar -lime, sand, and mashed ceramic -) in the Square of Lizana. In the groundsplot of the Pilar's old nuns, there is a small reservoir; and a mosaic, was found in the Hospital of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (today School University student).
     It is of supposing that, a city of the category of Huesca, had a Theater and an amphitheater proportionated to the number of its inhabitants; but unless the functions were given in the Forum; nothing of it has been found.
     It is necessary to think also about the place known as Campo de las Mártires like a very propitious place or the martyrdom, and so to locate the amphitheater there. The certain thing is that the toponymy has a certain sense and that when the industrial complex that occupies the almost whole of the hill was settled, it was found Roman remains.

* Gathered of diverse sources for M. Tomé

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