Jerez de los Caballeros, Come and Discover
We are able to follow the historical traces of the municipality of Jerez de los Caballeros since Prehistory. The heritage we preserve is of such importance that it gives us the opportunity to enjoy and study various sites. Archaeological tourism could mean an opportunity to make public the entity of all these remains, thus helping the conservation and enhancement of them. As has been mentioned above, Jerez timeline will transport us from the awakening of civilization to the Roman period, and will provide us with a multitude of sites of interest to go deep into such a rich past.
● Dolmen of Toriñuelo
The Dolmen of Granja del Toriñuelo, declared a National Monument in 1931 and BIC (standing for ‘property of cultural interest’ in English) in 2018, is part of the group of circular chamber tombs, covered with a false cupola and linteled corridor. This type of dolmen (Tholos) has its maximum development during the Full Chalcolithic (6000 B.C. – 3000 B.C.).
The chamber has a certain oval shape tendency, being delimited by thirteen orthostatic stones (blocks or stone slabs that, lined together, form a wall). The decoration of the tomb is centered in this sector, where petroglyphs appear in a winded pattern and with circular and radial motifs, widely documented in Megalithic Art. The tomb has an access corridor of 25 meters (one of the longest dated in the Peninsula). The structure of the tumulus is topped by an artificial hill, erected by superimposing layers of very compacted clay and stone.
● Anthropomorphic tombs of La Bazana
Next to the Roman bridge of La Bazana there are two anthropomorphic tombs excavated in the rock. These types of tombs have a floor with the shape of a human being in order to deposit the deceased. It is a type of burial used by several cultures, among them the Christian communities of medieval times. It is possible that they may be Visigothic tombs.
● Roman Villa ‘El Pomar’.
Erected on a slight hill near the outside of the Roman Jerez (Seria Fama Iulia) is this Roman construction belonging to the third and fourth centuries AD, with later reforms during the 5th and 6th century. A central courtyard of monumental dimensions articulated the different rooms located around it. The construction is made of masonry and ashlars, although it is outstanding for the mosaics in its interior. The most important one is located in the main room.
It was dedicated to agricultural and livestock farming exploitation. Thanks to its decoration and dimensions we can determine that it belonged to a wealthy family (probably a Roman patrician who lived here with his family and his servants). This construction helps us to understand and contextualize the Roman settlement in this area of Extremadura during the late stages of the Roman Empire.
● Roman Bridge ‘El Pontón’.
About 8 or 9 km from Jerez de los Caballeros, following the road EX – 112 towards Zafra, we will find just before reaching Brovales the Roman bridge ‘El Pontón’. It is a Roman bridge from the 2nd century A.D. which is located near the town of Brovales,
over a tributary of the Ardila river. It is a small bridge, of a single arch, made of ashlar masonry joined by mortar. The roadway of the bridge is made on a double level. The structure of the bridge rises on the granite rocks of the zone.
● Roman bridge La Bazana or ‘Puente Viejo’ (Old Bridge).
Leaving La Bazana in the direction of the Rural House ‘La Zafrilla’ we find the Roman bridge of ‘La Bazana’ or ‘Puente Viejo’ (Old Bridge). This bridge of Roman origin was reformed during the Middle Ages, and it is located over the Ardila River, one of the tributaries of the Guadiana river. It is made of masonry and ashlars, and its structure is formed by nine arches and abutments can be seen on both sides. In the pillars there are some starlings in the shape of triangular prisms which has two functions: to support the pressures of the bridge and to canalize the water.
● Roman road
Continuing the course of the Cruz Blanca street and arriving at the proximity of the mountain range commonly known as ‘El Alto del Empedrao’ we find this section of Roman road. It is about 15 m long and is formed by river stones.
The information and the dating that we have of it is still diffuse. However, its relations with Roman settlements like Nertóbriga (Fregenal de la Sierra) or Emerita Augusta (Mérida) could be verified by its layout and the Roman bridges that are found both to the north and to the south of the locality, previously mentioned.