donderdag 1 januari 2015

Santa Olaia

The world of the Mondego.


To reach this world ships from Nazaré need approximately 70 kilometers to bridge. That is pretty difficult in antiquity. It will be rather on the Rio Lis that the Phoenicians have taken a break. Cities below are present on the river.
1.Tavarede native
2.Santa Olaia major Phoenician influence
3.Montemor-o-velho native
4.Castro the native Soure
5.Conimbriga mainly later Roman
Mondego is mentioned in ancient times the Munda (S) or MUDA. The river then had a large estuary, which reached to the current Coimbra.
Book: OS Materiais PRE ROMANOS de Conimbriga others Presença fenicia no baixo vale do Mondego. Virgilio Hipolito Correia. Separata do livro Estudios Orientais IV Os Fenicios no Territorio Portugues. The Phoenician presence is highlighted in the valley of the Mondego.
The undated book of V.H.Correia contains 283 pages of pre-Roman material from the afore mentioned locations from at least the 10th century BC, including a lot of Phoenician material that is found mostly concentrated in Santa Olaia from the 8th century BC. There is red roasted turned pottery, carved ivory and of course lots of pins, that was a popular subject in these regions. Moreover, there is erected a wall, which is built in Phoenician style. V.H.Correia pinpoints: the relationships that lie at Alcacer do Sal, with several southern Spanish places, Huelva and even Kuass-Tangier. On the ivory are lotus flowers and a sphinx pictured. The pins have a resemblance to that of Bencarron, Acebuchal and Alcores.
At Castro Soure we find ceramics, that show relationships with Sesimbra, Beja and Huelva. For some pins they originated in Cyprus. And this is only a very small excerpt. There is no doubt that we are dealing with a "orientalising world", where the Phoenicians have played an important role, but in consultation with the indigenous world. All this takes place mainly in the 7th-6th century BC.
In a website for tourism of the town of Figueira da Foz this realisation has also penetrated. There it is the "Castro Santa Olaia (Roma?)" as a foundation of the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC on a small peninsula in the estuary of Mondego. The rectangular houses are still visible. Metal objects, pottery and amphorae of this place can be admired in the municipal museum Dr.Santos Rocha to Figueira da Foz. Dr.Santos Rocha is the discoverer of Santa Olaia, which more later.
Naming: Figueira comes from fagaria = opening big mouth. Foz comes from the Latin "fouces" = mouth of a river. Mondego comes from the pre-Roman "mouth" = mouth / beak and "AEC" = river. Composed Figueira da Foz means: "the river with his big mouth."
We do not know how the Phoenicians in Santa Olaia have actually called it. There is also to invent anything in that direction, unless it would reflect the explanation of the name Figueira.
"The Paleo-Environmental Contexts of Three possible Phoenician Anchorages in Portugal" of S.Wachsmann others in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2009) provides more insight into the natural state of Santa Olaia area in the 7th-6th century BC.
The Rio Mondego is nowadays reduced to no more than a kind of irrigationchannel, but in antiquity the whole valley stood under water. The siltation in the estuary was however already in full swing, but Santa Olaia was for the Phoenician ships still easily accessible.
Santa Olaia consisted of roughly three parts:
- Craft quarter
- residential area
- harbor
Neville detects a small jetty in 2007. Pereira find in 1993 Phoenician graffiti, glass and oven. So there is slowly but surely an image to create of a fairly complete settlement. We still lack a temple, fish processing, a fortress and purple preparation.
Santa Olaia was excavated in the period 1915-1920, with the rectangular houses of were visible (2.5- 3.5 meters). The found objects were found all breed "Ibero-Punic"? to be, as indicated by a different website. That will be more Ibero-Phoenician!

In 2005 I arrived after a long search to Santa Olaia. It is located right off the highway to Coimbra and maybe that way already consumed again a part of the settlement. There is a sign with an explanation. I can make pictures 1028 t / m 1032 creating the foundations of the houses. There appears to be nothing protected. You expect behind the chapel of Santa Olaia a cemetery, but there is smack a tiny Phoenician settlement.
Antonio dos Santos Rocha is the initiator of this discovery. He's off in 1894 no less than 14 years of research conducted at Santa Olaia, Tavarede, Bizarreiro, Liria, Azeiro, Pardinheiros, Fonte de Cabanas and Choes. He finds in Santa Olaia approx.10 living-buildings and traces a "Phoenician" wall. Isabel Pereira was continuing his work.
It appears to be a Phoenician warehouse and permanent storage for metals. The structures date from the 7th century -5th  BC. In the 6th century BC, we see many imports, including a Greek pottery fragment. There are three different levels of distinguishable.
The craft quarter.
During excavations this quarter north of the residential area was mapped in 1992 + 1993 and has a length of 22 meters *. The whole was on the north side by a wall, which included a gate width of 1.8 meters. In this craft quarter are the furnaces, which also metal scrap and slag are witnesses. I can imagine that the raw material has been imported here and processed into transportable paste.
See: "Oh no Comercia fenicio territorio actualmente portugues" Anna Marguerida Arruda in: Intercambio y Comercio Preclasico en el Mediterraneo (CEFYP, Madrid, 1998).
We now have the habitat, a craft quarter and a small harbor in the picture, but where is the necropolis or a sanctuary. If there is a necropolis, probably east of the settlement, where no excavations have taken place. The temple is believed to annex administration building A halfway the craft district and residential area.
All material found is stored in the municipal-museum Dr.Santos Rocha to Coimbra in 2005 and I have also gone there. I made the pictures 1034 t / m 1052 and got here the relevant pages with a catalog of the museum. What I see: vases, pots, amphorae, bowls, light, bowls, weights for fishing nets, jewelry, pins, a transverse amphora and coins on my own photos.
In the notes to the catalog of the museum is indeed mentioned that the settlement was partially destroyed by the construction of the road Nacional 109. This unforgivable fact took place in 1993/1994. Fortunately, we have the catalog and the items are: numbers 104 t / m 203 with amphorae, plates, vases, pitchers, weights, grindstone, beads, angel with 2 holes, wheel, jack, part of a furnace, fireplace ?, chain, pin, earring, ear cleaner, part of a cart, ritual necklace nail point lead, cleaver, nail,  plaque, bone objects with 2 holes, pipe, pin.
Now I'm all material that seems available, have gathered, I come back to my earlier thought that at most there may be a mixed settlement. Given the material found, the smallness of the place, but nevertheless reasonable completeness, I think, it was a full-fledged Phoenician settlement, similar to Abul at the Sado.
And what about Tavarede, Montemor-o-Velho, Castro de Soure and the pre-Roman Conumbriga? The Phoenicians were sure there, but not to settle. They have a lot of objects and knowledge left behind.
In the monographic museum Coninbriga the majority of the exhibits come from the 1st-5th century AD, so from Roman times. Yet there are also some pieces from the Iron Age and another from the 6th century AD, including two Christian inscriptions. One of these is that of SERenianus and the other is about Marturia.
Conimbriga is a wonderful excavation site to bust through it, as I did in 2005, but in the context of this review, I will not go in there. It remains for me to give an overview of whom to Santa Olaia were active in archaeological sense:
- Rocha 1908
- Pereira 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Arruda 2000
- Aubet 2001
- Neville 2007
We are now probably arrived at the real limit for the Phoenicians. We also see in the 5th century BC many assignments of Phoenician settlements. However, the role of the Phoenicians will all soon be taken over by the Punics (and Carthaginians).


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