In the Gracia Street site, remains of civilizations that throughout history inhabited the area that is currently Alcázar de San Juan were discovered.
The great complexity of an urban site lies in the fact that the same space has been occupied more or less uninterruptedly over the centuries by the different populations and cultures that have inhabited it. This generates a superposition in strata of the remains of each epoch. It should also be added that human populations tended to reuse building materials from the ruins they found. Thus, what the archaeologist ends up finding at the site is mostly garbage and debris, what nobody wanted to preserve at the time and was abandoned, and a complex stratification that makes it difficult to interpret each period independently and completely.
The site is located adjacent to the historic center of the town, in the surroundings of the parish of Santa María and the Torreón del Gran Prior.
Several previous archaeological studies were carried out in this area, the earliest of which was in the 1950s, at the intersection of Gracia Street and Mosaicos Street, under the direction of the archaeologist Julián San Valero Aparisi. In this campaign it was established that the oldest occupation of the current urban space would be from the Roman period, a villa of the imperial period.
This pre-Roman villa would consist of a large agricultural and livestock farm with a commercial purpose, where the owner, or his delegate, would live in a mansion or palace called domus. Also in the surroundings of the domus, which formed the urban pars, there would be the workers’ houses, differentiated from the rustic pars where the crops were, as well as a space for workshops, warehouses and stables, forming a self-sufficient and integral set of economic exploitation of the territory.
In these excavations, Aparisi brought to light the fabulous mosaics that decorated the noble rooms of the complex, as well as a large number of objects of daily life that are partially exhibited together with the mosaics in the municipal museum. Excavations in the 1990s located workers’ quarters in the Plaza de Santa Maria, and these latest excavations in the area of workshops and warehouses on Calle Gracia, are evidence that make us think that the village was developing and possibly in the late Roman or Visigothic period became a village or small town.