Chronology: 2nd century BC – 6th AD
Promoter: ICAC, Council of Guissona, UAB
Dates: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
The different archaeological interventions carried out by ARQUEÒLEGS.CAT at the Archaeological Park of Guissona, the ancient Roman city of Iesso (BCIN), have been located in the pub-lic areas of the ancient city. The interventions were conducted under the co-direction of Òscar Trullàs, within the framework of a research project led by professors Doctor Josep Guitart and Doctor Joaquim Pera.
The different interventions in this sector are intended to identify the different areas and structures that were related to the thermal building of the city, as well as to establish its chronological sequence throughout the history.
The scientific works in the area of the Roman baths began in 1975 by a team from the University of Barcelona led by Doctor Josep Guitart. During the excavation seasons developed be-tween 1975 and 1976, the remains of a building were discovered, which was interpreted as corresponding to the public baths of the city.
Despite the importance of the findings made at that time, the remains were covered and the area was used for agricultural uses again. Except for some surveys carried out in 1983 that did not provide much data on the thermal complex, it will not be until 2004 that archaeological re-search around the public thermal building of the city was resumed.
The dimensions of the thermal building at the peak of its splendour were of approximately 1500 m2, with a minimum of three phases of reform between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
The construction of the first thermal building, in the middle of the 1st century BC, took place in a space occupied until then by a neighbourhood from the Republican period. We only have documented this first moment in certain points of the city. However, the available data allow us to propose hypothesis about the structure and functioning of the buildings of this period.
During the second phase, middle of the 1st century AD, an extensive modification and probably monumentalization of the building took place, along with the survival of some elements of the previous phase. The circulation level was elevated and the natatio was built.
Finally, there is a third phase of reforms in the Flavian period. Nevertheless, it remains quite unknown because most of the structures have almost disappeared or are partially preserved. This is due to a new elevation of the circulation level (of approximately 1m).
During the third phase, the areas related to the caldarium of the second phase were modified. Thus, they built a small pool of cold water partially overlapping the old caldarium. This situation forced them to move southwards and to build a new heated room with a hypocaust system.