Graves discovered by archaeologists at the site of future Sagrera high-speed train station
As we all know, the Sagrera station will become the most important station in Barcelona once the high-speed works have been completed.
Working at this station does not just mean bringing one of the oldest and most used modes of transport to a higher level of modernization but also discovering pieces of puzzles that are part of the ancient history of Catalunya.
In 2011, archaeologists working in the area of the future railway station, involved in the first excavation campaign, found the necropolis for the first time. 182 bodies were found, but the excavation was interrupted when the works on the railway station were put on hold.
Now that the work has begun again, the archaeologists have discovered 68 graves with 358 buried bodies
They date back to the beginning of the 17th century, coinciding with when the troops of Spanish king Felipe IV had the capital under siege, according to the head of the council’s archaeological service, Josep Pujades.
The archaeologists’ hypothesis, however, is that the deaths would have been caused by plague and not combat. Pujades has said that the bodies discovered with the resumption of archaeological work correspond to individuals aged between 15 and 35. Most of them are men. In some cases, they were well-placed in the ground, but others were buried in any kind of way, sometimes stacked on top of each other. Using indications from a ceramic material, dating the bodies to somewhere from the start to middle of the 17th century. The siege on Barcelona took place from 1713 to 1714 during the so-called Reaper’s War (Guerra dels Segadors, in Catalan.)
“We know that there was a great plague in Barcelona at the same time,” Pujades explained, pointing out that this is the most likely cause of death. The current excavation campaign began in April, a little after Spain’s Ministry of Infrastructure resumed works at the future high-speed train station. It is being carried out by the company Antequem with municipal supervision. Out of the graves discovered, only three remain to be excavated, but Pujades believes that the number of bodies “won’t increase too much” as the graves are small.
Photo credits: www.catalannews.com