Escavacións no castro de Santa Trega.

Escavacións no castro de Santa Trega.

Trega, An Iron Age collective monument

A spectacular 'castro' located in A Guarda on a knoll from which the mouth of the river Miño and Rosal valley can be seen

Mount Trega is the great collective monument of the Iron Age in Galicia. It is also the most visited touristic place after Santiago Cathedral and the largest castro (a celtic fortification) in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. It is located in A Guarda town on a knoll from which the mouth of the river and Rosal valley can be seen. its location is also a spectacle.

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The size and importance reached by Trega Mount is revealed in the diversity and abundance of its architectural decoration.  The most wide range decorative elements have been unearthed here, among them are the ones called swastikas and some granite cylinders to be embedded in the walls of the most prominent buildings.

Trega Mount is an extensive castro, the largest of the whole Northwest Peninsula. Within an area of 20 hectares, it would be an ‘oppidum’ a large and populous vila with city features.

This is one of the first castros duged up in Galicia. Already in 1913. When the company Pro-Monte Santa Trega began digging, that had great impact and helped turn the settlement into a tourist attraction of the first order. Currently, visitors seek the shacks that have been rebuilt and with varying success, they reflect how they lived the Galician people during the Iron Age.

Trega is one of the first castros duged up in Galicia

The vila stretches along the top of the mountain from the East, Southeast and to the North hillsides. From this idyllic positions, the inhabitants would seize control of the entire Miño River estuary. It was  an advantage for both, their trade relations and security against possible invaders.

If we take a glimpse oo at today’s drawing of this urban development, the labyrinth formed by the buildings, the walls and the roads stands out. Centuries have been carving its face to house thousands of people. The wall, built of granite, is about 1.60 meters thick and surrounds the town.

The ancient inhabitants of Trega made a living from hunting, fishing and livestock. But they also traded. It was discovered in the excavations, they were great at this. Numerous amphorae were found. Some of them were Haltern 70 model which brought products from Andalusia, especially wines. There is also jewelry, vessels and fine tableware and other items that speak to us  of a certain social elite and great welfare life.

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About Food, we know that they ate seafood. In addition,  domestic animal bones have been unearthed as well as sheep, goats and cattle, which tells us about the importance of livestock at that time.

Regarding their religion, many issues remain a mystery. A bronze statue of Hercules  was found in 1860 which was stolen from the museum collection a century later. Cemeteries were not found and we do not know what happened or the resting place of their dead. But they seemed to have a slim concept about transcendence because recent excavations have shown a stone head of a warrior. It is believed it could have been the representation of a brave enemy whose soul would symbolically strengthen the defense of the wall.

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