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HASTA REGIA or Asta (Mesas de Asta) Càdiz, Spain.

Town near Jerez de la Frontera, which belonged to the Conventus Hispalensis (Plin. 3.11; Mela 3.4; Ant. It. 409.4) and was a Turdetanian settlement. It was called Asta in Strabo (3.140), elsewhere Hasta (Livy 39.21; Bellum Hisp. chs. 26, 36; Ravenna Cosmographer 4.43). In 187 B.C. C. Caius Atinius captured it and it was conquered by Caesar in 45 B.C.

The city minted coins during the Imperial age; and from a small bronze coin with the legend P. COL. ASTA RE. F on the reverse, it appears to have been called Colonia Asta Regia Felix. It was the third stage on the military road from Càdiz to Cordoba via Seville, and its ruins were known in ancient times. Finds made during the 19th c., now lost, included a granite lion, a headless togate statue, a bust, and several inscriptions.

Excavations have uncovered material from phase I of the Mediterranean Bronze Age which document an Ibero-Saharan culture showing central and E Mediterranean influences, as evidenced by its incised, burnished, reticulated, painted, and decorated pottery. Abundant stone objects include knives, sickle blades, scrapers, bone and even bronze utensils. The existence of an Iberian settlement is confirmed by Iron Age decorated pottery of the Andalusian type, cinerary urns, Ibero-Roman coins, fragments of Punic amphorae, glass paste necklace beads, Italo-Greek and Campanian pottery. Material from the Roman period includes stucco fragments, thin-walled and Arretine ware, terra sigillata, lamps, coins, and Roman and Early Christian inscriptions. Finally, sherds of Byzantine, and especially of Caliphat, pottery as well as dirhems, and the remains of the foundations of a house or perhaps of a farmhouse have been found. All the finds are in the Jerez de la Frontera Archaeological Collection.


E. Floréz, Medallas de España (1775) II, Tab. II, No. 7; E. Romero de Torres, Catálogo Monumental de España. Provincia de Cádiz (1934) 198, 203, 260-61; M. Esteve Guerrero, Excavaciones de Asta Regia (Mesas de Asta Jerez) (1945); A. García y Bellido, “Las colonias romanas de Hispania,” Anuario de Historia del DerechoEspañol 29 (1959) 460f.


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