One of the burial sites. / SUR

Number of Nasrid-period graves found on new Ronda car park site has risen to 180

Archaeological excavations are being extended on the site of the planned facility in the San Francisco neighbourhood, where it is believed a historic cemetery was located

VANESSA MELGAR RONDA.

The archaeological excavations that are being carried out on the site of a planned car park in the San Francisco neighbourhood of Ronda have been extended, Mayor María de la Paz Fernández said on Monday.

During the summer, 40 graves from the Nasrid period were found in excavations carried out prior to the project, which is planned in the historic town, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. So far, 180 graves have been found, confirming that the area was the site of the town's cemetery during the Nazrid period, which ended in the late fifteenth century.

The mayor said that 13 manual probes have been carried out and that in three of them remains "of varying interest have been found, which obliges us to extend the probing work, in order to verify the possible existence of other funerary areas or areas of historical interest".

The work, which will involve hiring new personnel, will now focus on another area of the plot with almost double the surface area already probed. "In a few days the third phase of the excavation work will begin, which will be responsible for carrying out an archaeological, historical and anthropological evaluation of the samples found," De la Paz Fernández said.

Town planning councillor, Jesús Vázquez, recently referred to the project and said that the remains found will not affect it. The car park, designed by the Diputacion, Malaga's provincial authority, will be semi-open and will take advantage of the slope of the land. With around 500 parking spaces spread over seven floors it will include a viewpoint overlooking the historic centre of Ronda.

Initially the intention was for the work to begin after the town’s fair, in September. The car park construction will cost around five million euros.