The monumental thermal complex of the Roman city of Valeria: proposal for virtual reconstruction of its cold rooms based on the archaeological findings

Javier Atienza Fuente

Abstract

The archaeological excavations carried out since 2014 at the Valeria site (Cuenca, Spain) have exhumed the remains of a thermal building built at the beginning of the 1st century A.D. The state of conservation is exceptionally good, with a height of walls that exceeds 3 m. This circumstance is due to the fact that the area in which the building is located was abandoned at the end of the 3rd century A.C. and its architectural structures were not subject of looting of construction materials.  Archaeological  excavations have exhumed  the  structures  belonging  to  two  different  rooms:  a  western  room, the frigidarium or  cold  room,  and  an  oriental  room  paved  with  polychrome  and  geometric  mosaics.  The frigidarium, excavated almost entirely, has, on the western side, a natatio or indoor pool with a series of steps or benches attached to the  northern  and  southern  flanks.  The  excavation  of  these  rooms  has  recovered  about  a  thousand  marble  pieces  of different  typologies  and  provenances  that  were  part  of  both  the  paving  and  parietal  coatings,  as  well  as  abundant remains of mosaics and wall paintings that show the decorative richness of this space. The presence of glazed windows has also been proven due to the recovery of numerous fragments of glass, some of them still with remnants of lead. For all  these  results,  a  virtual  reconstruction  of  the frigidarium is  proposed,  counting  as  base  data  with  the  conclusions derived from the study of the elements conserved in situ and those recovered in a controlled archaeological context. For the realization  of  the  virtual  recreation  have  been  used  textures,  tonalities  and  decorative  motifs  taken  from  the archaeological remains.


Keywords

Virtual archaeology; Frigidarium; Thermal complex; Valeria; 3D reconstruction

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References

Atienza, J. (2018). Algunos apuntes acerca del uso de mármoles decorativos en el ambiente termal de Valeria. Revista IDEC Patrimonio. Historia y humanidades, 6, 16-17.

Atienza, J (2015). La técnica de la recreación virtual aplicada a la divulgación arqueológica: algunas consideraciones didácticas y científicas. Studia Academica, 15, 115-136.

Atienza, J., Domínguez, S., Muñoz, M. (2018). Las Termas de Valeria. Recapitulación y conclusiones de las campañas de 2014 a 2017.Ricotí, 23, 65-73.

Atienza, J., Domínguez, S., Muñoz, M (forthcoming). La decoración marmórea del frigidarium de las termas de Valeria (Cuenca): análisis cuantitativo y cualitativo de los fragmentos recogidos en la campaña de 2017. Actas de XIX Congreso Internacional de Arqueología Clásica.

Domínguez, S., Muñoz, M. (2018). Las Termas Romanas de Valeria. Revista IDEC Patrimonio. Historia y humanidades, 6, 12-13.

Domínguez, S., Muñoz, M., Atienza, J. (forthcoming). Las termas romanas de Valeria (Cuenca, España). Actas de I Congreso Internacional Termas Públicas de Hispania.

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Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology

e-ISSN: 1989-9947   https://dx.doi.org/10.4995/var