Workers at the excavation site at the Avenida de Andalucía.
Ruins unearthed by Malaga metro works are largest active archaeological site in Spain

Ruins unearthed by Malaga metro works are largest active archaeological site in Spain

The excavations cover 4,000 square metres and include remains of old Moorish houses and defensive works


Monday, 18 November 2019, 15:49


The archaeological site unearthed by works along the route of the new Malaga metro tunnel extension is officially the largest in Spain. The Andalusian regional ministry of Public Works has announced that the site is spread across a surface area of nearly 4,000 square metres along the Avenida de Andalucía.

Works on the site have been ongoing since June 2006, funded by over 20 million euros from the regional government. The team carrying out the excavations is comprised of several specialist directors and more than 50 workers under their supervision.

The ruins include several important remains, such as an Islamic-era wall and the base of a fortified tower in Callejones de Perchel. They span more than eight centuries of history, from a Moorish settlement dating back to the Taifa period (eleventh to twelfth centuries) to ruins from the nineteenth century.

The Andalusian regional ministry for Culture and Heritage has decided to preserve and put on display the most important remains, including several artefacts not considered worth officially listing.

Notably, the remains of one Taifa-era house, the best-preserved of several found on the site, were recently removed. The house was organised around a central courtyard, with clay paving slabs, wells, and areas where small gardens and vegetable patches are presumed to have been. There were also drainage systems which channelled waste out to street sewers.

It is believed that the Moorish settlement, known as Attabanim, was constructed in the eleventh or twelfth century, and abandoned at some point between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The ruins of the house will be stored for public display in the new station beneath Callejones del Perchel. Other discoveries that will be displayed include paving stones, a well, a cistern and the sewage system from the settlement.

Recently, several basins used for the tanning of skins, dating back to the nineteenth century, have also been discovered, near the Guadalmedina river. These will also be preserved.

Works on the metro system have not been delayed by these discoveries as workers focus on other areas in the meantime.

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