This week they started in the parking lot of La Merced Palace, seat of the Deputationthe first ones investigative work which are going to be carried out to see if it is possible to identify in the said space two buildings to welcome consulting services.
For now they do pre-excavation work itself and which aims to clarify whether there is in the basement of the car park archaeological remains of sufficient importance to prevent such action.
Specifically, according to the report prepared by the provincial institution itself, in the coming months a preventive archaeological action will be carried out in the car park adjoining the Palacio de la Mercedin the corner between the Avenida de America and Acera de Guerrita. As Provincial Council sources have informed this newspaper, the actual archaeological work start once the trade show tent has been removed organized by the provincial institution and of which all that remains is to hold the municipal one, which will end on November 13.
This excavation completes a previous one in which two surveys were carried out: few structures appeared to the west, since it constituted a valley that was later transformed into the orchard of the convent of La Merced; in the East some have been discovered minor remains Roman buildings.
The Provincial Council reports that the archaeological intervention has been attributed to Arathea Group, for 88,966 euros, and will last three months. These works will be directed by Laura Ortiz and in them eight workers will intervene.
The report of the Diputación indicates that the purpose of the intervention is “to underground knowledge before the start of the urban development work provided for in the General Urban Plan; Two administrative equipment buildings will be built for the extension of the outbuildings of the provincial institution and a central square located between the two buildings will be cleared and urbanized.
With this action, the aforementioned report states, “the Palacio de la Merced will be reserved for institutional uses, the Diputación will have a new space to provide its services and the city will have a central square for public use. It is intended to ensure that future construction proceeds without archaeological incidents.”
The archaeological activity is carried out, according to the report of the Diputación, “in the vicinity of the walled enclosure of the historic city, near the Puerta de Osarioin which ended the thistle of the Roman maximum and the praetorian way”. The Palacio de la Merced itself, concludes the work, “preserves Roman remains, such as the mausoleum, the late Roman pool and several mosaics”. results that these works will be those that will ultimately guide the final design of the space, since the leftover value that are detected will be what will determine the scope of work which ends up being undertaken within the precinct.
For a long time, the provincial institution has been thinking about take advantage of the current parking lot for other uses and the possibility of creating a multi-storey underground car park, an idea that does not conflict with that of the square and the two aforementioned buildings. The sources consulted by this newspaper point out that if the archaeological work reveals that there are no remains of excessive value or that formulas of use or integration can be used, the idea of carrying out the construction of a building with several basements in which to open, as mentioned, an underground car park, and on the surface to raise the two aforementioned buildings and the central square.
For the same reason, i.e. not knowing what archaeological prospecting will bringthis is why it is not possible to make a provisional budget of what the execution of the work will entail, because “it is not the same thing to plan a work on the surface as to carry out a project of a much greater depth with several basements”.