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University of Alicante researchers find a grave with a mass burial from the late period at La Alcudia site

DNA and carbon 14 tests will be key to determining the exact date since no funeral gear has been found

 

Restos_oseoshumanos_LAlcudia1 Restos_oseoshumanos_LAlcudia2

In the IMAGES, detail of the human bones found and a moment of the work done by the archaeologists during the find

 

Alicante, 08 May 2017

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Alicante, led by Professor of Ancient History José Uroz has found a tomb at La Alcudia archaeological site that was used over time with several burials . The grave, which is cutting the Roman pavement, houses remains of at least three individuals of whom only one was found in anatomical connection, as they explained.

According to the preliminary osteoarchaeological analysis carried out by expert and member of the team María Paz de Miguel, "the most complete individual was an adult male of about 35-45 years of age suffering from a disease known as ankylosing spondylitis, a not very frequent pathology that fuses several vertebrae." Also, the individual presented a fracture in the left ulna, Parry fractures and arthrosis in one hand, among other pathologies. Researcher De Miguel - the archaeologist who worked on the search and find of Cervantes' remains in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid, revealed that the other remains found belonged to "a juvenile individual and an older adult, with tooth loss." The specialist will be on Wednesday in La Alcudia to study the remains of the two individuals that are still to be analysed. Results are intended to see if there is a kinship through the mother's line.

However, researchers point out that the exact chronology of burials requires a DNA and Carbon 14 series analyses, since the grave lacks burial artifacts that can help to definitively date back the remains. Results could be known before end of May. 

Archaeologist Héctor Uroz, who is has a strong relationship with our university and is also a lecturer at the University of Murcia, has emphasised that the find of a Roman pavement "is crucial for the excavation since it reveals that this section of the site has remained virgin underneath below so far, and therefore, any new find could be decisive when it comes to get to know the Iberian period ". 

Research Project "Damas y Héroes. Tras la Ilici ibérica", is excavating for the first time the place where the Lady of Elche was unearthed. The aim is to be able to contextualise the place with a comprehensive stratigraphy that has managed to to reach the late Iberian period so far. 

The excavation work, that has been performed by personnel paid by the Elche city council, it is an multidisciplinary initiative carried out by the Department of Prehistory, Archaeology, Ancient History, Greek Studies and Latin Studies.  As will be recalled, the project has been launched by the  University of Alicante Office for Research & Knowledge Transfer, and it is included in the budget of the University of Alicante 2016 Programme for R&D+i Promotion  along with three more archaeological projects to be carried out at La Alcudia.

 

Article related:

University of Alicante ranked as top sponsor for an archaeological research project at La Alcudia

 

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