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Excavations of the Vilanera necropolis in Spain reveal 17 prehistoric burials


The excavation campaign at the archaeological site of the Vilanera necropolis, in l' Escala (in the comarca of the Alt Empordà in Girona, Catalonia, Spain), has uncovered 17 new funeral structures dating from the final Bronze and the beginning of Iron Age. The results will allow a broader understanding of the use of this area and to reconstruct the evolution of this territory, prior to the Greek settlement of Emporion in the 6th century BC.

Excavations of the Vilanera necropolis in Spain reveal 17 prehistoric burials
Archaeologists working in the necropolis of Vilanera en l' Escala 
[Credit: Cedida por el Departament de Cultura/ACN]
The excavations, which were completed last week, are promoted by the Department of Culture and the City Council of l' Escala. They have focused on the area known as sector 3, at the southern edge of the mountain. The excavations were resumed in 2016, when this area, located to the west of the municipality and its adjacent area, was declared an Archaeological Protection Area by the Ministry of Culture.

The first phase of the excavation focused upon an area that contained several burials and a central megalithic structure, which could be linked to the first period of funerary use during the Middle Neolithic period, around 4500 BC. The work carried out during the month of September has concentrated on the cremation necropolis which, centuries later, extended to the foothills of the mountain and which had already been exposed by excavations carried out between 1999 and 2000.

Excavations of the Vilanera necropolis in Spain reveal 17 prehistoric burials
Detail of one of the tombs of the necropolis of Vilanera, in l' Escala 
[Credit: Cedida por el Departament de Cultura/ACN]
Three tombs have been found that can be attributed to the Final Bronze Age. These structures contained ceramic urns with burnt remains. Fourteen other structures from the early Iron Age (7th century BC) have also been discovered, consisting of pits dug in the subsoil where urns with burnt human remains and a variety of pottery goods were also deposited.

The campaign has been conducted by a team of archaeologists led by Dolors Codina and has involved around thirty students from several Spanish and Italian universities, in collaboration with the Museu d' Arqueologia de Catalunya-Empúries.

Source: La Vanguardia [October 19, 2017]
TANN

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