The Directorate General of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat has begun the procedures to recognize the Roman villa of Vilauba de Camós, in Pla de l’Estany, as a Cultural Asset of National Interest (BCIN) in the category of archeological zone. The site was inhabited from the first century BC to the seventh century AD, after four decades of study.
This new condition will allow the site to be included in the school and tourism dissemination circuits at the national level and in Europe. The resolution of the initiation was published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat last month and is now missing the study before the final resolution. However, from the same date of initiation the BCIN legal regime has already been applied.
The process of initiation to obtain the declaration of BCIN in the Roman villa was started last year on the initiative of the four owners of the site: the town councils of Banyoles, Camós and Porqueres and the Center for Regional Studies of Banyoles.
During 2019 all the necessary documentation was collected and in December the extraordinary monitoring commission for the project was held, with the participation of the representatives of the city councils and the CECB. At that time the request was agreed to the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and it was formalized with a decree of the mayor of Banyoles on January 8 of this year.
The Councilor for Culture and Cultural Heritage of the City of Banyoles, Miquel Cuenca, emphasized that “the declaration of Vilauba as a BCIN will be a good way to vindicate and explain to everyone that this is an exceptional site, a authentic snapshot of the way of life of the Roman and Middle Ages. “
A consolidated site
The distinction of the site comes after a series of actions taken in recent years to improve the space. From the beginning of 2014, the diversion of the GI-5247 road, which crossed the site, was completed, thus connecting the excavated parts and making new discoveries. At the beginning of 2018, a tablet application was incorporated that allows a virtual visit to the site thanks to a careful 3D recreation of the main rooms and spaces in the complex. This is an innovative and pioneering initiative in the province of Girona that has been well received by the visiting public. And last year the panels explaining the site’s origins and evolution were completely renovated.
Vilauba was discovered in 1932 during the works on the road from Banyoles to Pujarnol and it was excavated in 1978. Since 1981, the site is owned by the Town Council of Banyoles, which is the owner of 70%, and the Town Council of Camós, the City Council of Porqueres and the Center for Regional Studies of Banyoles, each with 10%.
It is a pioneer site in Spain in adopting modern excavation and registration methods, following the Anglo-Saxon models that have made it one of the most studied.
For more than forty years of work, it has been determined that the site was inhabited between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, with a subsequent occupation until the seventh century AD, which gives the site a “unique character to follow and understand both the various stages of Romanization and the traffic in the Middle Ages. “
The excavations continue to this day and are accompanied by various outreach and dissemination activities promoted by the Archaeological Museum of Banyoles.