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Triple archaeological find in Barcelona


The Archaeological Service of Barcelona has announced this Wednesday in a statement the results of three recent excavations in the district of Ciutat Vella, which have revealed remains of houses and burials of Roman times, as well as a unique burial outside the walls allegedly of infectious patients.

Triple archaeological find in Barcelona
Skeletal remains buried in the sandbank outside the walls during the Modern Age, found in what is now Barceloneta
[Credit: Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona]
These last remains were located during the urbanization works of the site on Carrer de Balboa 36 and Carrer de Genève 43, in the Barceloneta neighbourhood. Workers uncovered the skeletal remains and notified archaeologists who were able to confirm that they were human bones. Despite the earthworks with the construction machinery, they were still in an anatomically intact.

During the archaeological excavation phase, it was found that it was a burial pit excavated in the sand, with three bodies. Two more individuals were located in other parts of the site and there are clear indications that there were other burials in the area. The remains correspond to individuals of adult age, men and women, and present several pathologies that will have to be analyzed in the laboratory.

Triple archaeological find in Barcelona
Skeletal remains buried in the sandbank outside the walls during the Modern Age, found in what is now Barceloneta
[Credit: Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona]
This burial place outside the walls, say experts, indicates that the interments were made in the sandbanks that had accumulated in this area since the construction of the first medieval port in the fifteenth century. Archaeologists estimate that they could be individuals killed by an infectious disease, a hypothesis to be confirmed by means of the relevant laboratory analyses, which will include carbon 14 dating.

Artefacts recovered at the site include Roman shards, some 17th century blue ceramic fragments and three rosaries related to three of the exhumed individuals have been recovered.

Architectural remains at Barcino en el Call

The archaeological intervention carried out between January and February at number 10 of Sant Sever Street, as a result of the project to restore this building, has allowed the documentation of several structural remains related to the Roman and late-antique occupation of this site, as well as several remains of a building prior to the current building.

Triple archaeological find in Barcelona
Remains of walls from the Roman Imperial period found in an estate in Ciutat Vella
[Credit: Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona]
It is located within the Roman city, very close to the wall, and near the 4th century Roman domus on rue de Sant Honorat. In medieval times it was part of the Jewish quarter of Barcelona. During the monitoring of the work, a well and several foundations of an earlier house, demolished in 1850 but which may have been built at the beginning of the 17th century, were located.

Triple archaeological find in Barcelona
Roman paving and silo found in the elevator pit of an estate in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
[Credit: Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona]
In the pit dug for the new elevator shaft were found the remains of a Roman 'opus signinum' paving, very degraded by a modern foundation, although it was not possible to determine the perimeter walls of its area. In a basement of the ground floor, during the work of strengthening the foundations of the current building, three walls and two pavements were located, also of 'opus signinum', indicating a high imperial residential space. Also documented was the reform of one of the high imperial walls dating from the fourth century, as well as three silos from the fifth century, and finally a poorly maintained wall from the sixth century.

Roman burials in the Islamic necropolis of Born

According to the Archaeological Service of Barcelona, in the Islamic necropolis of El Born, where an Islamic burial was located a few weeks ago (8th-11th centuries), a child burial from the 13th-14th centuries and up to 11 burials from the Roman era have been documented.

Triple archaeological find in Barcelona
Burials from the Roman period found in the Calle de Antic de Sant Joan, between Passeig del Born
and Carrer de la Ribera in Barcelona [Credit: Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona]
The chronology of the Roman burials is dated to around the 3rd and 5th centuries, a date that can be confirmed from the study of the pottery excavated.

These findings are part of the archaeological intervention being carried out in the street of Antic de Sant Joan, between Paseo del Born and calle de la Ribera, since 6 November 2017, following the project to install a new sewerage system and pneumatic waste collection.

Source: La Vanguardia [March 20, 2018]

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