Archaeological recovery in Los Azogues Street is extended for four months


The Local Government Council of the Santander City Council has approved, in an extraordinary session, a four-month extension of the archaeological recovery works of Los Azogues street that managed by the company Rucecan with a budget of nearly 305,000 euros. Thus, the architect drafting the project, Clemente Lomba, was authorized to draft a modification of the original following the “significant findings” that had occurred since the start of the works, among which were a second medieval necropolisas explained in a statement by Development Advisor César Díaz.

The team of archaeologists succeeded in identifying “not only a large number of gravesbut the existence of a cemetery under another pre-existing which makes it necessary to make a parallel layout of the route in its final part, ”explained the Consistory. It is stated in the minutes issued, that the modification that is carried out, if any, will not exceed 20% of the original. In this way, the Town Hall expands the scope of the archaeological project of Los Azogues to delve into the origins from Santander.

Díaz highlighted the complexity of the work carried out by the team made up of construction manager Clemente Lomba, archaeologists Lino Mantecón and Javier Marcos, and forensic anthropologist Silvia Carnicero, with an unusual concentration of burials. The performance continues Works at the northeast corner of Santander Cathedraldocument the remains and guarantee their enhancement so that residents and visitors can enjoy the historical and cultural heritage of the city.

“As the work progresses, new discoveries emerge. We must continue to investigate and identify the discovery of the funerary remains of the medieval cemeterywith works that had not been envisaged in the initial project”, assured Díaz.

Anthropological analyses, isotopic and DNA studies, dating and specialized archaeological excavations in medieval burials are added to the original work. “The ongoing archaeological work provides historical remains of great interest for the reconstruction of the past of the city (church hat, Christian necropolis and fortification) and above all, the origins and the Roman and medieval past of the city”, he remarked.

The archaeological intervention made it possible to identify a complex archaeological site, with a cemetery of a high concentration and stratification of burials into coffins and single graves (to date, 75 burials with human remains in anatomical articulation), as well as ceramic fragments, fauna, metal objects or coins. Indeed, some of these archaeological remains make it possible to document trade relations with Atlantic Europe in the Middle Ages.

Díaz detailed that the “unusual concentration of burials” vertical stratification is added, with burials overlapping or joining with features that require more time to obtain adequate documentation.

Likewise, he indicated that the condition of the skeletal remains and the difficulty of the excavation must be taken into account, which requires the use of high-precision techniques. Furthermore, he indicated that there is a high percentage of infant or newborn individuals, burials which represent “a additional complexity and thoroughness given the small size of the bones and their fragility.

To all this, we must add the existence of a new cemetery under the pre-existing one, unforeseen and made up of tomb-coffins that will have to be exhumed. “The potency of the deposit has exceeded expectations, achieved 4 meters deepwhich requires moving large amounts of substrate,” he added.

The fortification found shows a type of protective wall of the Cerro de Somorrostro and the harbor guard at its feet (perhaps the “old wall” spoken of in medieval written sources), with a chronology from the 12th century or earlier.

Díaz highlighted the importance of the project and recalled that the works will include the creation of a passable street by reproducing the pavement of the time, which will include the construction of a transverse window to be able to enjoy the richness of all these remains , right in the Cultural Ring of the city.

“The archaeological work achieves exceptional and complex results at the same time, since it is a germinal enclave of Santander”, concluded the Fomento official.

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