A huge necropolis with over 100 tombs has been found in northern Spain.
The discovery made in the village of Granon in the northern Spanish region of La Rioja is the culmination of an excavation that began in 2013.
The archaeological remains correspond to the period of the history of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
During the Early Middle Ages, the bodies that include both adults and children were placed directly in a ditch dug in the earth along with offerings and some earthly belongings of the deceased.
Luis Villanueva, 49, archaeologist and director of the project, told Newsflash: “In the previous phase, in 2013, an exploration campaign was carried out and eight tombs were found, and the necropolis was defined.”
This last phase has lasted around a month and a half and “in total, 103 graves have been detected”.
He said that all of the graves contained bodies, and the excavation project is part of the conversion process of a section of the National Road N-120 into a Highway (A-12) between the cities of Logrono and Burgos.
Now that the excavations have finished, construction work on that stretch of the road will be able to continue.
The burial tombs were found covered with slabs and having now been documented, are ready to be analysed. The team are working to discover more about who the tombs belong to.
Villanueva said: “The tombs are oriented from east to west. Two phases of burial are quite well differentiated. They are classic Christian tombs, with the head to the west, facing east. Most are buried in simple pits and covered with stone slabs ”.
The bodies found face-up will be transferred this week to carry out the corresponding anthropological studies.
Granon is a village in La Rioja with almost 300 inhabitants.
The Mayor of Granon, Jose Ignacio Castro, told the Spanish TV network La Sexta: “It has been a novelty and chaos because there are many people trying to see the ancient bodies. There is a bridge from where you can see the necropolis and it is very easy to see them from there ”.
Villanueva said that the archaeological remains and the materials found with them will be transferred to his company “Antequem, Arqueologia y Medio Ambiente” (Antequem Archeology and Environment), which has been working on the excavation for a month and a half.
According to its webpage, Antequem includes professionals from various disciplines for the management of cultural heritage and “safeguarding the historical legacy of our ancestors”. (http://www.antequem.cat)
The work will be completed with collaboration with the Department of Anthropology of a university yet to be determined.
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Story By: Carlos Davalos, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Newsflash
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