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Discovering Past Life: An Archaeological Investigation in Loscos, Spain

archaeologists in the field

Loscos, Spain. Drs. Ted Gragson and Victor Thompson, Ph.D. candidates Brett Parbus and Faith McDonald from the University of Georgia in collaboration with Ph.D. candidate Lydia Allué Andrés from the Université Toulouse 2 (France) and Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain) and others are investigating the abandoned medieval town of San Miguel de Mercadal. Historic documents indicate the town was occupied between AD 1280-1495 yet the presence of a chapel in an architectural style common to the 11th century suggests the town may be older. During May 2023 the team systematically recovered material culture, conducted geophysical surveys, and performed shovel tests and limited excavation across the site with the objectives of establishing a chronology of occupation and understand the placement of walls and open spaces within the 6 ha the site is currently known to cover. The research is being conducted by invitation and partially supported by the inhabitants of the nearby town of Loscos who have an historic connection to San Miguel de Mercadal and carry out a romería (religious pilgrimage) to the chapel every year in early May. The fieldwork at San Miguel de Mercadal was featured on the Aragón TV program "Esta es mi tierra" and can be viewed here.

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