AN archaeological dig in Valencia city centre has unearthed several small graves belonging to children.

Experts working on the restoration of the Islamic wall in the Plaza del Angel this week discovered 10 individual burial sites dating back to the time when King Jaume I reconquered the region in 1094.

The graves contain the skeletons of children and teenagers buried with their heads facing East, according to Moslem funeral rites.

Archaeologists believe the young victims died during the siege of Valencia by Jaume I’s forces, when the inhabitants were unable to leave the city to bury their dead and therefore did so next to the wall, where the graves would be protected.

The completely restored 11th century tower will be open to visitors in one year’s time.

Archaeology
Photo by Ars Electronica

Meanwhile, in another archaeology-related development in Valencia Province this week, permission has been granted to excavate the tomb of the man considered to be Spain’s first fascist.

Jose Maria Albiñana founded the far-right Spanish Nationalist Party in 1930 and is buried in Enguera (Canal de Navarres).

But even more bizarre is the possibility that nine Republican soldiers executed during the Civil War could be buried beneath Albiñana’s mausoleum in the small local cemetery.

Relatives of the deceased Republican militiamen, which include two former mayors, three councillors and three members of the local Popular Exeutive Committee, have joined forces to recover the remains and have already been given the thumbs-up from the regional Culture department.  

The project will take an estimated two years to complete and will culminate in a documentary film explaining the circumstances of the executions.

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