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.
. 409.4) and was a Turdetanian settlement. It was
called Asta in Strabo (3.140
), elsewhere Hasta (Livy
; 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
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.