Room 3: Rome to Convent of La Peñuela
This room covers the period of Ancient History from the conquests of the Carthaginians and Romans in the 3rd century BC, through the Middle Ages and the Battle of Navas de Tolosa, to the founding of the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites of La Peñuela in 1573, in the middle of the Spanish Golden Age.
While the Iberian peoples were in their heyday, the powers of Carthage and Rome fought for control of the Mediterranean. Rome's victory forced the Carthaginians to seek new routes and territories, arriving in the Iberian Peninsula around 240 BC. After founding Carthage Nova (Cartagena, Murcia), the Carthaginians, led by Hannibal, conquered this mining district to extract silver and lead and control the passes leading to the rich Guadalquivir valley. The threat of Hannibal in Italic territory provoked the second confrontation with Rome during the Second Punic War, the main stage of which was the Iberian Peninsula from 218 BC onwards. The mining and strategic importance of this territory would bring with it the scourge of war, and after the imposition of Rome under the command of Scipio Africanus, the whole area would be intensely Romanised. On the site now occupied by the Aquisgrana Industrial Estate in La Carolina, a settlement and a lead and silver smelting works were established, which must have been very active between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. Most of the materials on display in the showcases in this room come from this practically razed settlement, where surgical instruments, lead seals and tools and construction and decorative elements stand out.