Archaeologists find 4500 bodies in ancient Islamic necropolis in Spain

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AMELIA WYNE

Archaeologists in Spain have found 400 Muslim graves in an ancient Islamic necropolis.

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Experts discovered the 4,500 bodies in Tauste district earlier this month which is located near Zaragoza in the north west of the country.

The Andalusian Islamic era spanned from 711-1492, meaning the tombs are more than 1,000 years old.

a close up of a rock: Archaeologists in Spain have fond 400 Muslim graves in an ancient Islamic necropolis

Archaeologists in Spain have fond 400 Muslim graves in an ancient Islamic necropolis

By 711, Arab forces had invaded and begun to conquer the Iberian peninsula – which includes Spain and Portugal.

They remained for the next seven centuries until 1492, when the area was totally reconquered by the Christian kingdoms.

Miriam Pina Pardos, director of the Anthropological Observatory of the Islamic Necropolis of Tauste told CNN: ‘It’s rare to do an excavation and to find 400 tombs. It’s amazing.

a person sitting on a rock: The remains (pictured) will be cataloged, stored for research and studied over the coming years

‘We can see that the Muslim culture and Islamic presence in this area is more important than we thought.

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‘We can see there was a big Muslim population here in Tauste from the beginning of the presence of Muslims in Spain.

‘It is very important – the 400 Muslim tombs shows the people lived here for centuries.’

Some 44 skeletons were then uncovered during smaller excavations in the years following the initial dig

The remains will be cataloged, stored for research and studied over the coming years.

A first dig of the site in 2010 revealed a five-acre necropolis, spread over at least two levels.

Some 44 skeletons were then uncovered during smaller excavations in the years following the initial dig.

And then this year, more than 400 bodies have been found after local authorities ordered an extensive excavation of the area.

The architectural nature of the graves was the main characteristic of their Muslim identity, in addition to the way the burial process was done.

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