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Ruta Enoturística de la Comarca en El Puerto de Santa María

The Vía Augusta (the roman route from Rome to Cádiz)

Roman engineering at the service of exporting wine

The excellent and varied productivity of these lands, together with the quality of the products, which have been recognised since its origins, made engineering works such as this Via Augusta necessary.

Large quantities of cereals, honey, oil and wine were transported along it. But not only for domestic consumption, given the disproportion between the existing population and the estimated volume of production, most of it was probably destined for export.

On a central islet known as the Roman Road, there are constructive remains that have been identified with the Via Augusta. The erosive processes and the vegetation cover currently mask this construction.

In Roman times there was an intense settlement of the countryside and coastline of El Puerto, as evidenced by the abundant settlements recorded around the strategic enclave of Portus Gaditanus and its relationship with the territory of the Bay of Cadiz and with the interior, via the River Guadalete. The Via Augusta, which has been mentioned since the 1st century BC, played a fundamental role in this network of communication routes on land.

One of the objectives of the archaeological activity was to try to answer several questions such as: what is the building technique of the road, if it corresponds to the Roman period, what was its state of conservation and what proposals should be presented for its future appreciation.

The studies conclude that its construction characteristics correspond to a Roman road. It is made up of different layers with small thicknesses that form the body of the road, with several layers of clay, stones and gravel culminating in a surface of gravel on which the walkers and carts travelled, and delimited on its margins by oyster stones. The width of the road is 6.25 m, which coincides with the usual width of Roman roads.

Its route runs along a flat topography that rises gently at this point to adapt to the small rise between the Salada and Chica lagoons. The road runs in a SW to NE direction, different from the current road, from Portus Gaditanus to Hasta Regia.

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