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Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona

The rural population: Els Munts and the area around Tarraco

<p>View of the room devoted to the construction and decorative elements of the Roman villa at Els Munts (Altafulla).</p>

View of the room devoted to the construction and decorative elements of the Roman villa at Els Munts (Altafulla).

In the Roman period, the big country villas were not only places of leisure and recreation but also centres given over to agriculture and stock raising. The territorium of Tarraco was the site of several villas, the most impressive being those of Centcelles (Constantí) and Els Munts (Altafulla).

The villa of Els Munts, represented in this room, was discovered in the 16th century and the object of extensive excavations in the 1960s and 1970s. New work undertaken at the end of the 20th and beginning of the present centuries has revealed more about its history and architecture. A significant residential nucleus has been discovered, together with a thermal complex and rich elements that constituted sculptural and architectural decoration of great sumptuousness: statues, coloured mosaics, mural paintings, architectural elements, etc. confirm that the villa must have been the home of an illustrious personage. The discovery of a personal seal and a painted inscription to commemorate the construction of a fountain by order of Caius Valerius Avitus and his wife Faustina reveals that this duumvir lived at Els Munts in the mid-2nd century AD.

On leaving this room we come across the famous Fishes mosaic, discovered in the Roman villa of Callipolis in the municipal district of Vila-seca.

OBJECTS

<p>Mosaic depicting Euterpe, muse of music, 2nd century AD,&nbsp;<em>opus vermiculatum</em>&nbsp;on ceramic</p>
Euterpe
Euterpe
<p>Statue depicting the young slave Ant&iacute;nous, 2nd century AD, white marble, 98&nbsp;&times; 30 &times; 18&nbsp;cm&nbsp;</p>
Antinous
Antinous
<p>Fish Mosaic, found at the villa of Callipolis, 3rd century AD,&nbsp;<em>opus tessellatum</em>, 4.5&nbsp;&times; 6.25 m</p>
Fish mosaic
Fish mosaic
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