Lascuta Watchtower (The Roman and Visigoth tower of Esparragal)
In the municipal area of Alcala de los Gazules, on top of Esparragal hill there are the remains of an old Stone tower, the Lascuta Watchtower, the only vestige of the Roman settlement of Lascuta, an important community founded by the Phoenicians, occupied by the Romans and which had its máximum development during the times of the Visigoths.
Ten kilometres away from Alcalá de los Gazules there is a flat-topped hill, called Mesa del Esparragal, which is part of the Sierra del Aljibe foothills. The hill is isolated and surrounded by old pastoral routes between the countryside of the river Guadalete and the mountain dehesas of the Los Alcornocales Natural Park.
On the top of the hill are the remains of an ancient watchtower, twelve metres high, built in the second century BC on a primitive settlement occupied since the Copper Age, of which the only remaining evidence is its ground location and its natural conditions for defense. The tower is the only vestige of Lascuta, a villaje of Roman origin that was later occupied during the Early Middle Ages with a Visigoth settlement.
Finds of coins with Carthaginian iconography (palm tres, elephants looking in opposite direction, spikes and so on) and bilingual legends; the piled up stones and the ceramic fragments extended all over the plateau of Esparragal, show that it was a Phoenician-Carthaginian and Roman settlement. In addition, in 1840 the Bronce de Lascuta was discovered, a bronze plaque with a Latin inscription dated 189 BC, which is the oldest document written in Latin found in the Iberian Peninsula and which constitutes an importan testimony of the early Roman presence in the province of Cádiz.
Other remains have been found at El Esparragal taht deserve to be mentioned: defensive walls predating the tower which divide the area into two parts; a bulwark or defensive element to reinforce the tower of which there are remains at the front of it, the place where the entrance gate to the villaje was located and remains of a paved Roman road and of a bridge.
Lascuta Watchtower | Lascutana Watchtower | Mesa del Esparragal Watchtower
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