The Roman site of “Terlamonte I” is lies in the natural region of “Cova da Beira” (East Central Portugal), belonging to the Zêzere’s river basin side system, tributary of the Tejo river. The region was intensely occupied in the Roman period, certainly due to its mining wealth in tin and gold, to its remarkable agricultural capacity and to its geo-strategic position on the Roman road system of the province of Lusitania. The “Centum Cellae tower” and the “Orjais” temple are certainly the most important of the standing Roman monuments of the area (Frade, 1998). The site of “Terlamonte I” stands on a gentle slope, about 500 m from the river Zêzer, which flows down in the valley. The landscape, now loosely settled, being a prairie drained by many little lines of water, running in fields of moderate declivity. The landscape’s monotony is broken by the presence of oak woods in spots, where more often the coarse porphyroide granite crops out. Many streaks of quartz, sometimes "brechóides", cross that granitic mass which is the geological substratum (Teixeira, 1974). Trial excavation on this site began in the spring of 2000, under the direction of one the authors of the present paper (PCC), as part of a research project on the “Roman’s occupation the ‘Cova da Beira’ region” (enrolled in the “National Archaeological Program: 2000-03 – IPA”). The excavations fell upon the main building area and, as a result of these, the type and chronology of the site were determined. The “Terlamonte I” is a rural site dated to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.


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