Late Imperial and Late Antiquity


The Late Imperial era begins at the end of the 3rd century AD and lasts until the end of the 5th century AD. Scarce evidence from this period was found during the archaeological works done in the area. As in other places in the city, there is a change in the urban reticule orientation in regards to the former constructions which were partially dismantled and re-arranged afterwards.
Some of the associated structures to this period are two walls and several pavements along with some fragments of fauna, pottery, marine oysters and a big amount of coins dating from the Constantine and his successors´ period. Even though there is an external impoverishment in this kind of constructions, the amount of material evidence and the accumulation of strati prove the existence of a big population inserted in trading circuits with the Iberian Peninsula and, above all, with the Gaul. Remains in the shape of coins belong to this period which also testifies that their mints were providing Hispania during these centuries.

The Late Antiquity

Paradoxically, we have more evidence of funerary rooms from this period rather than from the proper city. Excavations in two of the necropolis that surrounded the ancient city allowed us to document more than 300 burials which are testimony of the use of these sites for funerary ceremonies from the 6th century AD to the 8th century AD.
In a similar case, at Castle Square a Muslim Maqbara was documented with around 200 burials dating from the 8th century.
The 1990’s excavations done in the inside part of the Cathedral’s naves structure contributed with the most interesting data after having documented a first ediculus for the Christian religious worship. This ediculus was constructed on a Roman ritual nymphaeum. This was probably the origin of the consecutive religious constructions that with the passing of time would be superimposed, but maintaining the original axe and orientation since the 6th century up to the present Cathedral.

Knowledge of habitable spaces is rare; we can scarcely venture that the city seems to maintain the late imperial age perimeter and urban reticule inherited.
Most of the structures were done with weak materials like wood and sun-dried bricks; therefore they could have hardly been preserved in the archaeological registers. However in the current excavation it has been possible to document partial pavements belonging to habitable areas that provided goods between the 5th and the 9th centuries AD. The majority of these are part of a local production, with a rude aspect consisting of pots made out of a black and grey paste with several shades.
It is presumable that most of the dinner service was made from wood (although we have no evidence nowadays).