Islamic Burial Site uncovered

por | Oct 31, 2010 | English articles, Necrópolis islámica

Unknown Muslim necropolis in the center of Tauste

The find would confirm the relevant position of the town during Muslim rule.

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LURDES MUÑOZ 30/10/2010

Under one of the main streets of Tauste lies a Muslim necropolis. After coming across numerous human remains in the past, the authorities of the town decided to conduct trial excavations on the Obispo Jose Maria Conget Avenue. Only a couple of days later, four Muslim tombs were found. “We are not one hundred percent sure yet,” said the president of the El Patiaz cultural association, Enrique Gale. “But we think the remains we found could be Muslim because all bodies were buried on the side facing South-East according to Islamic customs”.

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The find could be highly important for the town history. The burial site covers a “rather vast” area, which, in turn, would suggest that the Medina (old quarter) located in Tauste “was much bigger than we thought. It must have been inhabited by a much larger population than previously estimated”, claimed Gale.

Two archaeologists are working at the intervention site and they have already found “a 175-cm skeleton in perfect conditions”. One of the archaeologists, Francisco Gutierrez, explained that the entire trial excavation site covers 20 square meters and that upon digging the first ten they found three bodies: “We will have to do a statistical analysis to estimate the entire number of the remains we can find. But it looks like the area of this necropolis could cover one and a half hectares”.

RESULTS. The works are due to be finished next Tuesday since the excavation only takes place on Jose Maria Conget Avenue, “but, if everything goes right, new trail excavations will soon begin”.

According to Gutierrez, now that there are no final results of the study that could prove the importance of the find and confirm the relevance of Tauste in the times of Muslim rule, the necropolis could be dated between the 8th and 10th centuries or, perhaps, the 11th and 13th. “To establish the precise date, we will have to use the carbon-14 method, and if its results date the tombs between the 8th and 10th centuries, we will immediately set off a new trial excavation to continue the study of this astonishing necropolis”, said Gale.  

The excavations that started on Wednesday have already raised high expectations among the town inhabitants. A lot of them come to the site to see how the works are done and check how the study goes.

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