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Ancient Islamic burial ground discovered during roadworks in Spain


Workmen have discovered one of the oldest Islamic burial sites in in northeastern Spain. Archaeologists expect the majority of more than 400 graves dating from the eighth century, which were only discovered in recent weeks, to be exhumed by the end of the year.


Ancient Islamic burial ground discovered during roadworks in Spain
Roadworks in Spain have uncovered an ancient Muslim burial site
[Credit: El Patiaz Cultural Association]



Workers came across the human remains while widening a road in Tauste, near Zaragoza in north-east Spain.


Ancient Islamic burial ground discovered during roadworks in Spain
The graves were discovered in an 8th-century burial ground in the town of Tauste,
near Zaragoza in Aragon [Credit: El Patiaz Cultural Association]

The discovery could shed light on the eighth-century Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Arabs conquered most of the peninsula in three years, after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in 711.


Ancient Islamic burial ground discovered during roadworks in Spain
Experts say the remains had been buried according to Islamic customs
[Credit: El Patiaz Cultural Association]



Settlement in Tauste was considered anecdotal until an archaeological project that began in 2010 confirmed the area had a stable Muslim population, according to the El Patiaz Cultural Association.


Ancient Islamic burial ground discovered during roadworks in Spain
Earlier excavations revealed several skeletons at the site
[Credit: El Patiaz Cultural Association]

About 4,500 graves are estimated to be in the area. The remains will undergo DNA analysis to determine the origins of the population and provide deeper understanding about the spread of Islam in Spain.


Source: The National [November 19, 2020]



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