3rd Experimental Archaeology Conference Abstract – Clara Masriera Esquerra et al

Reinterpreting roofs in the Iberian Citadel of Calafell

Clara Masriera Esquerra, Jordi Morer de Llorens and J. Santacana Mestre

Project website

Mediterranean Iron Age architecture differs from northern European. The most important materials used in the Mediterranean are rock, clay and straw, because those are easily found nearby while the northern European Iron Age architecture is mainly based on wood and thatch; this area is full of large woods and long rivers. How do we know that? Because we have archaeological evidence as well as ethnographical hints.

The Iberian Citadel of Calafell was the first settlement in Spain which was partly reconstructed through experimental archaeology techniques, “in situ” and giving a vision of how an Iberian fortification could have been like in the 3rd century BC. Following this first experiment, some other settlements in Spain have done something similar, but never with such precision in their architectural techniques.

Actually, the Iberian Citadel of Calafell is an Archaoelogical Open-Air Museum since 1995. In 2007, after 12 years, it was closed to the public, because problems with maintenance occurred and it had become a static Archaeological Open-Air Museum without experiments and without life. From 2007 on, a new management team from the University of Barcelona is leading a new project on experimental archaeology. One of the experiments is to test the shape of the roofs; this means the inclination of them, the resistance, the impermeability, the precise material as well as the height of the walls. During summer 2008 we replaced the old roofs with new ones. From this moment on, we are going to measure the humidity, the resistance with and without rain and how often we need to make maintenance.

We hope to present some results next year; our purpose this year is to present the experiment.

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