The castro of A Lanzada is one of the most important archaeological sites of Galicia in spite of being also a great unknown. The excavations carried out from 2010 to 2016 have confirmed that A Lanzada was during the Roman era a large center devoted to trade. This is confirmed by the fact that remains of ceramics from various parts of the Mediterranean were found and the existence of a salting factory, which at least had been opened for business , so to say, between the first and third centuries BC.
The castro is located right on the parish of Noalla (Sanxenxo) and is based on a point that is next to the sea, also in the vicinity of the remains of a medieval fortress known as the tower of A Lanzada. At the westernmost end rises the chapel or shrine to Our Lady of A Lanzada, which was built on part from the remains of the castro. In total, the area occupied by the settlement could reach in length to 9,000 m2 but after the latest excavation, only 2,000 m2 can be visited.
Some experts even question the qualification of A Lanzada as a Castro because the settlement lacked the defensive vocation that really defines it. The oldest remains can be place at the end of the Bronze Age and the footprint of the various inhabitants who passed through this settlement allows to carry out studies to get the real picture of the living conditions of the inhabitants of the area from the 8th century BC until today. The director of the excavations carried out in 2016, the archaeologist Rafael Rodríguez, does not hesitate to describe the castro as “a book of the history of Galicia”.
The fact that the settlement is kind of glued to the sea makes the conditions of this type of sandy soil (less aggressive than the average surrounding soil) especially favorable for the preservation of organic remains. The exceptional conditions of preservation of the bones found in 2016 may allow, in the coming months, to carry out new studies on the living conditions in the area and provide new data from a settlement, on which there are still many unknowns.