Sites & cities that bear the name of Ammaia


Today in : Portugal
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E

Description : The Roman ruins of Ammaia are located in Portugal within the Nature Park of the Serra de São Mamede, a mountainous expanse of forest in the civil parish of São Salvador da Aramenha, municipality of Marvão, along the border with Spain. The Roman town of Ammaia was founded in the 1st century, likely under the reign of Claudius. Archaeological research from the early 21st century suggest that the town was already intensively settled around the reign of Augustus (end of the 1st century BC-beginning of the 1st century AD). The flourishing Roman town, lying in the Roman province of Lusitania, acquired its civitas statute in 44–45 AD, although there is some debate on whether it received its municipal status (municipium) during the reign of Nero, Lucius Verus or Vespasian. Many of its urban structures developed through the exploitation of the area's natural resources, and access to several roads connecting it to the provincial capital of Emerita Augusta (Mérida). During the 4th century there was a systematic reconstruction and restoration of the spaces of Ammaia. Yet, between the 5th and 9th centuries, Ammaia fell in decline and depopulated. When this part of the Iberian peninsula was already under Arab rule, the city seems to have been completely abandoned in favor of the nearby fortified settlement of Marvão. Ibn Maruán, an influential and powerful muladi began using the self-styled title of master of Ammaia and its ruins in the 9th century. In 1398, there is a reference to a mill along the Ribeira de Sever, owned by Diogo Gonçalves, a resident of Marvão. Around the beginning of the 16th century, there are references to the use of materials from the ruins in Ammaia to construct religious projects in Portalegre and neighbouring communities. By 1619, Diogo Pereira de Sotto Maior indicated that the bridge of Portagem was still visible during a hike, noting: "...where there still appears a base that the river could not undue. It was torn down and destroyed by greed, to say, that it stole the rights of the goods passing to the kingdom of Castile. In its place, was constructed another far below the same river (Sever), which is a tower that is below the city (of Ammaia), which was called Portagem. There used to reside the guards of the kingdom, who executed the rights of the King."

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