It is a Roman archaeological site located 4 miles south of Arellano, just a short distance from Estella-Lizarra. Its name, "Aurelianum"
, gave rise to the place name of the village.
The place is also known as the "Villa of the Muses" thanks to the discovery of the spectacular Roman mosaic of "the Musas"
. This work is art is housed in the National Archaeological Museum, but a detailed reproduction can be seen in its original location. Its name is due to the representation of the nine goddesses and their masters.
The archaeological remains found show that the villa was built between the 1st and 5th centuries AD
. Digs have revealed rooms from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD for the production of wine, and other later rooms that turned the villa into a luxurious country residence related to the worship of Cybele and her son and lover Attis. One of the most curious findings is a ceramic wine glass
, the icon of the museum.
The visit to the complex starts in a modern building, a building of 2,411 square metres in the centre of the villa. There are a number of information panels in the entrance, plus lecterns at strategic points of the visit.
A metal walkway facilitates access to the different rooms. The visitor can see gravel in two colours that marks out the different phases of construction: the grey shows the structures of the 1st-3rd centuries AD and the pink those of the 4th and 5th centuries.
The most striking places from the first era are the "fumarium", a room in which wine was artificially aged through heat and smoke, and the "Cella Vinaria" (wine cellar), whose value lies in having conserved all its production equipment. Also in display are 15 "dolias", large earthenware jars for keeping wine with an average capacity of 700 litres, and the stone altar that recalls the combination of activities related to wine production and religious celebrations.
Another of the villa's surprises is the 3-metre-deep tank that was mainly supplied by rainwater. Its discovery was quite exceptional, because this kind of construction is more commonly found in Mediterranean areas.
The rooms paved with mosaics correspond to the second era. Apart from the one in the 'muses' room, there are two more, one in the bedroom and the other In the "Oecus" (living room). This one measures 90 square metres. Both refer to the worship of Cybele and Attis.
Outside the building, and also corresponding to the second period of construction, you can visit the stables and the "Taurobolio". This is a rectangular building with porches around a courtyard, in the centre of which altars with bull heads can be seen.