Termantia, the present-day locality of Tiermes, is an archaeological site on the edge of the Duero valley in Spain. It is located in the sparsely-populated municipio of Montejo de Tiermes (Soria, Castile and León).
During the Iron Age it was a Celtiberian hill fort. It resisted the Romans, and was allied to Numantia during the Celtiberian Wars. It is believed that the Romans gave it the status of municipium. The original name was Romanised as Termes or Termantia. It is remarkable for its impressive site on an arid red sandstone hill and for the way buildings have been carved in the solid rock.
The wealth of Termes in Celtiberian and Roman times came possibly from sheep farming (there are indications of an annual transfer of flocks between the northern plateau and Extremadura) and from deposits of iron ore and other metals in their area of influence.
The conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by Rome was a long process that lasted two centuries. One of the highlights was the Celtiberian Wars that led to the incorporation of much of Celtiberia up to the middle of the upper Duero after the fall of Numantia in 133 BC. During this phase Termes was attacked by the Roman consul Q. Pompey in 141 BC, who signed a treaty with Termes in 139 BC, along with Numantia. The treaty was overruled by the Roman Senate, though continued hostilities did not directly affect Termes. Finally, at the end of the 2nd century BC, Rome restarted the conquest beyond Numantia; Termes fell in 98 BC, after the assault of the consul Titus Didius, who forced the inhabitants to move down to the plain, which according to archaeological data lasted only one or two decades. Afterwards Termes paid tribute (civitas stipendaria), beginning a slow process of Romanisation.
From 70 BC the city began major urban renewal, using the three terraces of the hill, especially the middle, where the most important buildings would be located in the future.
The city was probably given the title Municipium during the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Termes was assigned to the Conventus Cluniensis and thereafter the Hispanic-Roman city began to take shape, whose period of greatest splendour was between the first and second centuries AD. It was endowed with large public buildings, two fora (first Julio-Claudian and later a Flavian forum), thermal baths, a possible theatre, an aqueduct and urban development suited to the location of the city on a sandstone bluff surrounded by river gorges and forests.
A particular characteristic of Termes, and most spectacular today, is the technique of carving buildings into the solid rock, later perfected with the introduction of Roman construction techniques. The city has numerous remains of buildings with this type of architecture, both private buildings (House of the Niches, Aqueduct House ...) and public (rock bleachers, Theatre, ...) and infrastructure (urban channels aqueduct, drainage, pathways, ...).
The construction of the wall in the late third century AD indicates that the city maintained its character which lasted at least until the middle of IVth c. AD. Termes faded during late antiquity.
The archaeological remains are located on several terraces and in the southern plain:
Flight of steps carved into the rock: monumental public space of uncertain date and function, with steps divided into sectors and access stairways, near the door of the Sun, one of the ancient entrances. Southern rock complex: the remains of homes probably originating Celtiberian era, carved into the rocks on two floors, in the back, and with masonry facade of the Roman era. There are 11 houses divided into two zones, separated by a staircase. The "house of the Niches", among them, also shows an upper floor. Canal aqueduct: carved into the rock, it brought water from the hill to the Roman city, partly underground West Gate: pedestrian access to the city "House of the aqueduct", residence of 1800 sqm with 35 rooms on different levels connected by stairs. The foundation was cut into the hill, while the walls were plastered and decorated with murals. Forum with a temple dedicated to the imperial cult, arcaded square and a macellum with taverns.
Sculpture now in the National Archaeology Museum
Conservation and Museum
The site is protected as a Zona Arqueológica. There is a museum at the site, an outpost of the Numantine Museum of Soria. The Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Tiermes - AAMT - is an NGO, which was set up in 1988. AAMT is concerned with environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable tourism.
The European LIFE Programme provided funding in the period 2003-20006 to develop eco-cultural tourism in what is an economically marginalised area. Actions for the conservation and enhancement of archaeological and natural heritage have been implemented. The project identified potential for the declaration of a Special Protection Area for birds. Wildlife also includes wolves. Encinares de Tiermes, a Site of Community Importance, was designated a Special Area of Conservation for the species in 2015.
- Sivan, H., S. Keay, R. Mathisen. "Places: 246688 (Termes)". Pleiades. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- The address is Museo Monográfico de Tiermes, 42341 Montejo de Tiermes (Soria). Tel. 975 352051. See English PDF Guide
- "Tiermes LIFE Project". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- Solicitan que Tiermes-Caracena obtenga la declaración de Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves. Diario de Soria.
Classical references: Greek and Latin
Appian, Iber. 76-77-79.
Diodorus of Sicily, XXXIII, 16-17.
Florus, III, 10.9.
Polybius, Lib. XXXV.
Ptolemy II, 6.55.
Sallust, Hist ,. II, 95.
Ravenna Cosmography, p. 311.6.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF EXCAVATION AND GUIDES
MARTINEZ CABALLERO, S. and ALDECOA RUIZ, A . (2009): "Short Guide to visit Tiermes". Tiermes LIFE Project. (available online in PDF format).
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL and DIAZ DIAZ, A: La necrópolis celtibérica de Tiermes (Carratiermes, Soria) ("The Celtiberian necropolis of Tiermes (Carratiermes, Soria)"). Noticiario Arqueológico Hispánico, 7, 1979: pp. 95-151.
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL et al: "Tiermes I (Campaigns 1975-1978) Works of excavations carried out in the Roman city and in the vicinity of the Romanesque Chapel of Our Lady of Tiermes.". Archaeological excavations in Spain, 111, Madrid, 1980.
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL et al: "Tiermes II (Campaigns 1979-1980) Excavations in the Roman City and the Medieval Necropolis.". Archaeological excavations in Spain, 128. Madrid, 1984.
HOUSE MARTÍNEZ, C. de la and others: "Tiermes III Excavations in the Roman City and the Medieval Necropolis (Campaigns 1981-1984).". Archaeological excavations in Spain, 166. Madrid, 1994.
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL and Diaz Diaz, A .: Tiermes IV. La Casa del Acueducto (Domus alto imperial de la ciudad de Tiermes) (Campañas 1979-1986), "Tiermes IV. The Aqueduct House (Domus high imperial city of Tiermes) (Campaigns 1979-1986)". Excavaciones Arqueológicas en España (Archaeological excavations in Spain), 167. Madrid, 1994.
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL and Diaz Diaz, A .: "Tiermes V. Celtibérica of Carratiermes Necropolis" (Campaigns 1979 and 1986-1991) ". Edition directed by JLArgente and basically completed in 1997-1998, reviewed by the archaeological team of JL Argente (Alberto Bescós, Santiago Martínez Caballero, Arturo Aldecoa Ruiz and others) in 1999-2000 and published by the JCyL in 2001.
ORTEGO AND COLD, T .: Tiermes archaeological guide. Madrid, 1980.
ARGENTE OLIVER, JL and Diaz Diaz, A .: Tiermes guide archaeological site and museum. Soria, 1995. Junta de Castilla y León
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