Roman pool in Alcácer do Sal


In 2007, archaeologists exploring the area of Alcácer do Sal discovered a Roman swimming pool, however, only this month did they know their dimensions.

One of the ends of the Roman pool, belonging to the Archaeological Station of Santa Catarina de SÍtimos, in Alcácer do Sal, has now been discovered by archaeologists, who have thus been able to know its real dimension and attribute it “a much greater importance” as well Like the “villa” where it is located.

“The pool had already been identified” during the excavations carried out in 2007, but only this week, “it was possible to get to know its dimensions”, said Rita Balona, archaeologist of the town hall, last Thursday to the Lusa agency.

This part of the pool was found as part of an archaeological survey of the Archaeological Office of the Câmara de Alcácer do Sal, in the district of Setúbal, during the remodeling of the water network of Santa Catarina.

“The walls were already 12 meters long, but we did not know where they ended, because they were under a walk. Now, due to the new water supply, we opened a survey on this walk, to see what was underneath, and it was even a ‘straight shot’, “explained Rita Balona.

These works allowed to find, at about 60 centimeters deep, one of the corners of the pool, which is 20 meters long by 8.30 meters wide. “It is in very good condition, there are no cracks and there are stairs with six steps”, explained the archaeologist, noting that, known the size, “will compare this pool with others of the same time found in the country”.

But Rita Balona also indicated, since the structure of Santa Catarina de Sítimos is “quite large”, which shows the importance that the “villa” had in Roman times, that is, “The bigger the pools, the more important were the ‘ Villas’ in Roman times. When they are tanks or smaller baths it is a sign that the population was smaller. A of Santa Catarina is one of the largest and this allows us to attach a much greater importance to the villa”, she added.

This importance is also linked to the fact that a possible pagan sanctuary was already found there, where a Lucerne with Venus was discovered, as well as a production area, with tanks for oil and wine.

“On the surface, we have also found a lot of material, as well as a column and a sundial, and we are sure there will be many houses, but we have not yet excavated that area”, she explained.

The most recent finding, related to the pool, will now be analyzed by a technician of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Alentejo and according to Rita Balona, should be “protected with a blanket of geotextile and sand”, so that they can continue the works of passage of the water conduit, the initial motive for excavation in that area.

Identified in 1977, due to the widening of a street in the village of Santa Catarina, the Archaeological Station, dating from the first century BC (BC) to VI after Christ (AD), was already archaeological excavations in 1986 and in 2006/2007.