A wooden and bronze shield and a compass, associated with the time of the taking of Qart Hadašt by the Roman general Scipio, are the latest findings found during the archaeological intervention which has been carried out at the site of the Punic wall of Cartagena. “The experts must continue working to catalog and certify their origin, but we are convinced that these new objects will bring more light to another key period in the history of Cartagena,” said the mayor, Ana Belén Castejón, yesterday. These works have expanded the knowledge about the construction of the wall through orthophotography, and have helped to create a 3D model. In this action, earthen floors and structures from both Roman and Punic times have been found, which in some cases show their preparation, probably based on reeds or reeds.
The works, which have been financed (41,485 euros) by the Cartagena City Council through the Historical-Artistic and Archaeological Heritage Unit, directed by Castejón, were intended to update the value of this well managed by Cartagena Puerto de Culturas , apply a series of conservation treatments and document the wall with new technologies, erected at the end of the 3rd century BC, probably coinciding with the founding of the city by Asdrúbal.
The preserved section corresponded to the place where the Qart Hadašt gates were located. It was built by means of two parallel walls of large sandstone ashlars or ‘tabaire’, coming from Canteras. In its interior compartments, called casemates, were formed through perpendicular walls of ‘opus africanum’, a construction system that alternates ashlars with masonry.
Sandstone is a very permeable and porous material, highly sensitive to environmental agents. For this reason, it has been necessary to undertake cleaning and consolidation treatments of its structures to stabilize the archaeological remains. These works have consisted, mainly, in the removal of mortars from previous interventions, which no longer fulfilled their initial function, and in cleaning treatments by soft brushing and vacuuming in the sandstones and masonry walls. In the same way, lime-water has been applied to consolidate the stone and the existing mortars have been replaced by others made of lime and aggregates, respectful of the wall, to unify criteria.
The works have been supervised by the General Directorate of Cultural Assets of the Community and by a team of experts from the City of Cartagena.