In the municipal area of Alcora, next to the CV-190 road, emerge the remains of a settlement located at the top of Pujolet in the Santa’s plain. It is an Imperial Roman rural settlement that, due to its large extension and the finding of grindstones and some storage pits, now covered, it probably had an important emphasis as an agrarian centre. The settlement Termes de Santa has the name of the zone where it is located. It forms a small artificial elevation in whose vicinity funerary inscriptions were found, most of them now lost. All the documented structures present formal characteristics and totally homogeneous techniques. Thanks to them it has been possible to assign it to only one cultural moment, the Roman Age.
The settlement is located in a strategic point where the Camí dels Bandejats joins. This is a historical road that goes from Southeast to Northwest crossing the eastern half of the municipal area of Alcora and by the site’s West-Southwest side. To the West it joins the Camí de Vilafamés. This crossroads is traditionally known as Creu de Santa.
Works started with sixteen archaeological surveys distributed in the zones with the presence of archaeological materials documented during the prospection tasks. These works also included some surveys associated with the outline of the historical road known as Camí dels Bandejats. Based on the positive results of four of the surveys of the archaeological digging, the area of operation was enlarged to 3230 m2 of surface dug. The small hillock on which the settlement is set was affected for decades by works of terraces for planting almonds and olive trees and recently, it was totally levelled to transform the fields. The removal of soil created the mixture of the archaeological materials, among them plenty of building materials and great quantities of dolia1.
The area of Santa is historically known by the huge findings from the Roman Age between which we can stand out the different funerary inscriptions now lost
The settlement has only one occupation level but in some environments it is possible to observe a second building period in which the baths were enlarged and some areas were redistributed
1Dolium: Pottery vessel from the ancient Rome, similar to a large earthern jar used for the storage and transportation of food.
2Caldarium: Hot and steamy water baths used in the complex of the Roman thermal baths.
3Tepidarium: Warm water baths, between 25 and 30 centigrade degrees, heated up by the hypocaustum.
4Hypocaustum: Greek Word meaning “heating from downwards”. It was a floor heating system, invented or perfected by the Roman engineer Cayo Sergio Orata and used in the thermal baths of the Roman Empire.
5Praefurnium: Word used in the ancient Rome to refer to the burner of an oven.
6Frigidarium: Cold water baths.
7Natatio: Swimming pool located in the thermal baths.
8Opus tessellatum: Technique used in the creation of Greek and Roman mosaics in which there were used tesserae bigger than 4mm.
9Terra sigilata: Latin expression meaning “soil (or pottery) sealed” making reference to a characteristic sort of Roman bright red pottery. Its chronology goes from the first century BCE to the mid of the third century approximately.
10Campanian pottery: word used to identify a pottery production group made with black varnish made Campania, Lazio, Etruria and Sicily but it is distributed in all the Western part of the Mediterranean. Its chronology is centred between the end of the third and the first century BCE.