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Friday, June 28, 2013

Searching for a lost Visigothic city


It doesn't have a name yet, but there is a search party out looking for it. It is the city that produced the 1,500 bodies found in the Visigothic necropolis of Vicálvaro, which the Madrid government has earmarked for destruction because it has "no relevance." The remains are thought to date back to between the fifth and eighth centuries AD.


Over this early burial site on an enormous dry plain, right next to the highway to Valencia, the Madrid government is planning to build a total of 15,400 housing units.

But before construction begins, regional authorities have granted permission to look for further traces of the people who once dwelled in these parts.

And while scholars search for the missing Visigothic city, its cemetery continues to deteriorate. On this three-hectare lot, most of the 824 graves are covered with brush and poppies. Just half-a-dozen of them, the ones furthest from the road, still preserve their Visigothic marks - smooth flat stones that delineate their perimeter. There are also a few bones, millstones and other types of stones piled up beside the graves. The burial site is located on a stretch of whitish limestone that gave rise to the former name of Vicálvaro, Vicus Albus (white village).

[Read More: El Pais]

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