Molí d'Espígol (Tornabous)
The Iberian settlement of Molí d'Espígol de Tornabous constitutes one the most advanced examples of ilerget urban development.
The Iberian city of Molí d’Espígol comprises two clearly defined archaeological zones: the urban space or environment, where we find the site’s visible and visitable remains, and a suburban space or environment situated towards the north, outside the oppidum walls. It is important to note, furthermore, the existence of an ancient water deposit or artificial lake situated on the site’s southwest flank. Currently dry, this body of water located outside the walled nucleus, guaranteed water supply to the settlement.
While the settlement’s origins may correspond to the end of the Early Iron Age, the site gives signs of an important progression commencing in the second half of the 6th century BC (Early Iberian Era). At the beginning of the 4th century BC, the settlement underwent structural changes: the urban layout was defined in the manner visible today, the dwellings breached the initial walls and the suburban neighbourhoods were constructed; or rather, the dwellings expanded and a city formed: the territory’s principle location or capital, a place of substantial political power. Molí d’Espígol had its moment of greatest splendour during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. It was abandoned around 200 BC as a consequence of the Second Punic War and the defeat of the Ilerget Iberian tribe. Despite this, there are indications that certain parts of the settlement, the northern zone, were reoccupied around 100 BC, when a community was briefly established, before being definitively abandoned towards the middle of the 1st century BC.
Research on this site began last century under the leadership of Mn. A. Llorens, from the Museu Diocesà de Solsona (Diocesan Museum of Solsona), and excavations were conducted between 1970 and 1972. From around 1975 to 1986, the Universitat de Barcelona team led by Prof. J. Maluquer de Motes worked painstakingly, uncovering many of the remains visible today. From 1987 to 1994, Dr. M. Cura, so delegated by the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Directorate of Cultural Heritage, took charge of coordinating the site, until 2000, when the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya gained control.
On 10 February 2009, the site was declared a Bé Cultural d'Interès Nacional (Cultural Asset of National Interest), under the category of archaeological zone.
Molí d’Espígol forms part of the Iberian Route.