Congress in Zaragoza 2015

por | Nov 27, 2015 | English articles, Necrópolis islámica


The Islamic necropolis in Tauste at the I Congress of Archaeology and Heritage in Aragon

The project promoted by El Patiaz presented the results of the first part of research on maqbara in Tauste

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The medieval Islamic necropolis in Tauste (Zaragoza) was present at the I Congress of Archaeology and Heritage in Aragon that took place in Zaragoza this week.

It opened at CaixaForum in Zaragoza, having 240 registered participants, more than 80 presentations and over 40 posters.

It has been arranged to highlight and promote the scientific side of archaeology as a science of historical research that is directly connected with heritage.

The conclusions and presentations made during the conference will be put together and published in the proceedings of the I Congress of Archaeology of Aragon.

The congress

The congress was promoted by the Official Association of Holders of Doctoral and Bachelor’s Degrees in Philosophy, Arts and Sciences of Aragon. It was held on the 24 and 25 of November in the capital city of Aragon.

The project promoted by the El Patiaz Cultural Association participated in the round of discussions entitled “Medieval Archaeology”. The team included archaeologist Francisco Javier Gutierrez, excavation director at the necropolis in Tauste, Carlos Laliena, professor of Medieval History at the University of Zaragoza, and Miriam Pina, anthropologist.

They made a presentation “The medieval maqbara of Tauste, first studies”. In it, they summarised the excavations conducted so far,  the findings made and the characteristics of the maqbara and the tombs found on its territory. There was also a short introduction to the anthropological analysis of bone remains and further lines of research on this Muslim necropolis.


In March of 2014, the program called “Anthropological Observatory of the Islamic Necropolis in Tauste” (OANIT) was started. It is associated with the research of the necropolis promoted by the Association and directed by anthropologist Miriam Pina who acts as a liaison between the Association and professionals along with the scientific congresses.

She is in charge of making anthropological reports on the necropolis in Tauste and writing scientific articles about the results of the conducted research and analyses.

The Islamic necropolis in Tauste

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The El Patiaz Cultural Association of Tauste within our promotional and research campaign on the historical and cultural heritage started the archaeological project in 2010.

It changed the historic understanding of the Muslim presence in the area, which until then was considered incidental and insignificant.

The discovery of the Islamic necropolis that extends over a 2-hectare area shows the presence of a steady and settled population inhabiting the place.

Archaeologist Francisco Javier Gutierrez, excavation director, estimates that this necropolis might have around 4,500 tombs. Besides, the fact that it consists of two levels implies that it occupied an extended territory and remained there for long.

Since 2010, four archaeologic campaigns have been conducted. They were sponsored by the El Patiaz Cultural Association. During these campaigns, the remains of 44 bodies were uncovered and  sent for a further basic anthropological analysis. Research on the paleo diet was conducted in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country.

It has shed light on some interesting conclusions, such as the discovery that nutrition was mostly based on the consumption of cereals and pulses and that there was a gender difference in nutritional habits as well.

The research project on the Islamic necropolis in Tauste currently includes a study on the paleo diet and it is planned to carry out more DNA studies along with new carbon-14 analysis to complement the existing ones that date the necropolis between the 8th and 11th centuries, which, in turn, makes it the most ancient in Spain documented to date along with the one in Pamplona.

For further information:

The El Patiaz Cultural Association:

Francisco Gutierrez (Archaeologist): 690901119

Miriam Pina (Press and anthropologist): 636827926

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The translation of this page is included in the Zaragoza Provincial Council Grants for the Dissemination and Revitalisation of Cultural Heritage in the year 2022.

La traducción de está página esta incluida dentro de las Ayudas de la Diputación Provincial de Zaragoza para la Difusión y Dinamización del Patrimonio Cultural en el año 2022.