The Mystery of the Astorga Mud Tables It has kept historians in suspense for a century, who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to clarify its authenticity. Finally, science has supported the theories of some authors such as Antonio García Bellido, who strongly defended his Roman origins.
The Dating and Radiochemical Laboratory of the Autonomous University of Madrid has carried out thermoluminescence analyzes that have revealed that, indeed, the enigmatic table belongs to the middle of the third century, between the years 267 and 276.
Some historians still consider these tables are fakes, and it is logical due not only to its format, but to the content. The four little tables, also known as the Itinerary of Barro de Astorga, show five unpublished Roman routes that do not appear in any document.
The strangest table is the first, which reveals a path that would connect Legio VII (the city of León) with a place called Portius Blendium, which could be the town of Suances (Cantabria), passing through Aguilar de Campoo. The first reference to the tables appears in 1902, when they were owned by the Asturian collector Soto Cortés, but it is not known how they came into his hands. The investigator Diego Santos has only been able to find out that they were possibly found “in the Astorga region”, Thanks to the information he collected in the collector's file.
Ángel Morillo, one of the best specialists in the Roman LionHe was curious about the tables since in a university class, his teacher, Carmen Fernández Ochoa, told them his story. Morillo then asked why they were not analyzed to determine their origin and age, but his teacher replied that “it is very expensive and not within our reach”. Years later, Fernández Ochoa reorganized the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Asturias and called Morillo to determine once and for all if the mysterious clay plates were a false historical or authentic copies.
As if the history of the tables did not already have a good dose of uncertainty, there are still many unknowns about them, such as the fact that are signed by Duunviro Lepido, a municipal office. There is also their real purpose, although some historians believe that they possibly served as guide for travelers. There is also the fact that the itineraries that appear do not coincide with those of other Roman documents, and its peculiar shape with a perforated upper handle constitutes a unique case.
Although it also remains to be resolved who made themSince the analyzes have shown that they are the work of the same person, what is clear is that the tests show that they are the authentic Astorga clay tables.
Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in all that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.