Art and Culture | Jean Leon

New Iberian site discovered in Jean Leon

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Work to prepare a new vineyard has brought to light silos and the remains of pottery dating from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. ArqueoVitis is carrying out the perimetralisation of the site and the excavation of the first silos.

A team of archaeologists have discovered a large Iberian site 2,200 to 2,300 years ago in our Jean Leon vineyard, consisting of at least a dozen silos. The Penedès archaeological research cooperative ArqueoVitis, headed by Dani López and Mireia Sabaté, is carrying out perimetry work to determine the extent of the site and has begun excavating some silos to extract information about the lives of those who may have been the first winegrowers to inhabit the area.

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According to archaeologist Dani López, “we are finding the productive part of an Iberian site made up of a considerable number of silos, which indicates that this is an important site where there may have been workshops, farmhouses and even a village”. And he adds: “we have found ceramics made in the territory and also from outside, for example amphorae that were used to swallow wine, jugs to serve wine or glasses to drink wine, establishing a direct connection between Jean Leon’s present and the time when the Penedès began to be configured as a wine-producing area”.

The silos are tanks dug out of the ground, which were used to store grain. Once they were no longer used for storage, remains and waste were dumped, and sometimes they were used as tombs. For Dani López, “the excavations of silos can provide a lot of information on how the inhabitants of the area lived, what they ate, what they grew, what animals they had, etc.”.

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This new site is located in an area with a lot of archaeological potential, as it is on one of the branches of the Via Eraclea, later known as the Via Augusta, which connected the inland Penedès with the coastal towns. “It is a place with natural water sources, very fertile, ideal for cultivation”, says Dani López. This would explain the presence of other sites close to ours, identified in the Inventory of Archaeological and Palaeontological Heritage of Catalonia, which date from the Neolithic, Iberian and Roman periods.

The discovery of the new site on our estate was made by a resident of Sant Pere de Riudebitlles, Alfons Gumà, who identified the remains of pottery that had surfaced on the surface as a result of work to prepare some land for planting a new vineyard.

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The winery has given the go-ahead for the excavation of this site by ArqueoVitis, in coordination with the Generalitat de Catalunya, in order to extract as much information as possible about the inhabitants of these lands, adding this new site to the archaeological heritage of the Penedès.

Stay tuned, we will tell you the news about this exciting discovery!