Ancient Islamic burial ground in Spain discovered during roadworks

Find could shed light on eighth-century Muslim conquest

Roadworks in Spain have uncovered an ancient Muslim burial site. El Patiaz Cultural Association.
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Workmen discovered one of the oldest Islamic burial sites in Spain.

Archaeologists expect the majority of more than 400 graves dating from the eighth century, which were only discovered in recent weeks, to be exhumed by the end of the year.

Workers came across the human remains while widening a road in Tauste, near Zaragoza in north-east Spain.

The discovery could shed light on the eighth-century Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

Arabs conquered most of the peninsula in three years, after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in 711.

Settlement in Tauste was considered anecdotal until an archaeological project that began in 2010 confirmed the area had a stable Muslim population, according to the El Patiaz Cultural Association.

About 4,500 graves are estimated to be in the area.

The remains will undergo DNA analysis to determine the origins of the population and provide deeper understanding about the spread of Islam in Spain.

Archaeologists exhume a grave. the El Patiaz Cultural Association.
Archaeologists exhume a grave. the El Patiaz Cultural Association.