Castro de As rodeiras de Garellas
The “castros” were fortified villages. They were usually located on hills or in unique places, so they could see who was approaching and they dominated rivers and roads. They were protected by one or more lines of walls, parapets and holes. The “castro” was entered, at least, through a door (like the one found recently in the Rodeiras). On one side of the gate there were sometimes stone statues.
The dwellings were usually circular, but there are also many examples of rectangular and oblong dwellings. At first, the walls were built with stone, straw and mud plinths, and later on with mud blocks. The roofs were made with a structure of wood and cereal straw.
These houses had ovens, mills, piles for the animals… The floor was usually made of earth.
Life in the castros
The people of the “castros” drank water, beer, milk… and ate cereals, meat, fish, even seafood when they were close to the sea. This is known from the remains of bones, spines and shells found by archaeologists in the so-called “cuncheiros”.
They wore clothes of leather and cloth that they made themselves. They wore skirts, trousers, capes and cloaks. Some of them shaved themselves with gold jewellery. Today we can see marvellous objects of the “castrexa” culture in our museums.
the trades of the time
They mastered metalworking perfectly and made tools and objects of daily use such as knives, fishhooks, fouciños, cuneas, fibres for clothing, weights for nets… The warriors had swords, machados and spears made of bronze or iron, and small round shields.
The stonemasonry work was very good as they built huge walls and gates, houses, mills and even carved human and animal heads, huge warriors, worm-shaped, triskelike or geometric ornaments for the houses.
In ceramics, they made bowls and pots, sometimes with surprising decorations. They also made all kinds of objects in wood. They made mills with two stones, one rather flat where they crushed the grade with the other stone that had the shape of a roll.
The people who lived in the “castros” interacted and traded with each other and with other peoples such as the Phoenicians and the Romans.
The Castro of As Rodeiras de Garellas
Fortified settlement of the Iron Age located on the top of a small hill, which dominates the village of Garellas from what you read.
The site consists of an oval-shaped main enclosure or “croa” with the main entrance facing towards the sun. A moat about 6 m wide defends the eastern and northern sectors of the croa. This defensive system is complemented by the presence of strong ramparts around the main enclosure, which reach their highest point in the western sector. To the east there is a 12.5 m embankment and a 4 m parapet.
Dimensions of the castro
Major axis (N-5) 85 m. Minor axis (L-O) 65 m.
Although the site appears to be in good condition, it should be noted that in the 1990s, the croa was being remodelled as a result of furtive excavations. In addition, a football pitch was recently built on the site.
Location of the castro
City Council: Forcarei.
Parish: Millerada (San Mamede).
Altitude: 655 m.s.n.m.
IDENTIFICATION KEY: GA36018007
For the first time, an archaeological excavation was carried out at the Rodeiras – Garellas “castro” in November 2020. During the 10 days that the excavation work lasted, 4 probes were opened: 3 in the upper enclosure or croa and 1 at the entrance, in the defensive system of the “antecastro” (land annexed to the “castro”, arranged in the form of a socalce and with a semicircular shape).
We discovered a very large hole dug in the substrate containing fragments of pottery from a kiln.
A pottery pot was also discovered, the like of which has never been found before, with a decoration of vertical striated bands and horizontal lines, as well as others.
The “castro” never ceased to surprise us and on the last day of work we found a millstone from a mill used to grind cereal.
Finally, we discovered the stone remains that formed part of the gateway to the castro, which was accessed by stairs.
Thanks to this work we know for sure that some 2,200 years ago there were girls and boys playing in what was later called the Rodeira or Garellas hillfort. What we don’t know is what their names were…
- It is said to have a tunnel that goes to the Sanguñedo “castro”.
- Apparently sometimes a hen appears, carrying some golden whistles that disappear when you try to pick them up.
- It was also said that Moors used to live there and that they went to war and some of them remained hidden there.
- Another legend says that in the ditch surrounding the “castro” there are three beams, one of gold, one of silver and one of “alcatrán”.