Topic ID #41869 - posted 12/5/2019 9:35 AM

Zortia Castle. Spain. Archaeology and Osteology. 2020


​​Zorita Castle perches on a plateau overlooking the tiny village of Zorita de los Canes. It sits on the banks of the Spain's longest river: The Tagus. The castle once controlled one of the three only bridges that crossed the river. Slightly smaller than an international football pitch, the original fortress was built by armies from North Africa during the Moorish and Berber conquest of Spain. For the foundations, the builders looted the stonework from the nearby ruins of the Visigothic city of Recópolis.

The Order of Calatrava and Zorita Castle
The Order of Calatrava was born in the actual region of Castilla-La Mancha, specifically in the province of Ciudad Real, where during the twelfth century intensified the struggle between the Berber villages arrived in Al-Andalus and the Christian of Castille. All Mancha region south of Almagro is known today as Campo de Calatrava, the first seat of the institution of monks warriors.

Goals for 2020

We will continue excavating both sides of the Romanesque church of the castle. On the South, on the "Corral de los Condes" where the cemetery for the knights of the Calatrava order was found. Some of the graves are already exposed and ready to start working on them. On the North side or areas IV-VII where we are discovering the rooms over the cistern.

The Archaeology and Osteology program at Zorita Castle is focused on teaching archaeological methodology and on the excavation of graves. Mornings will be dedicated to excavation with a break for a snack. Fully recovered after a bath in the river, lunch and siesta, afternoons will be dedicated to seminars and workshops.

Participants will take part in all the excavation process, they will keep a field journal and clean, identify, and catalogue artifacts. ​We will learn to define a burial, the right way to dig a skeleton and how to remove it from the ground: how to deal with the body, what tools to use, how to remove the bones in anatomical units with the right and left sides individualized, what is the correct  packaging, how to register everything in situ (practice with photogrametry for recording). 

Zorita castle History
Archaeology in Zorita castle 
Stratigraphy and archaeological record
Archaeological drawing - ceramics

Workshop on osteology
Introduction to osteology: the human skeleton 
Anthropometry. Systematic measurements of standard parameters
Determination of size and sex.
Determination of age of death
Health of the population: degenerative diseases, deficiency diseases, infectious diseases, traumatic pathologies.

Weekend excursions
Toledo World Inheritage Town
Madrid with the National Archaeological Museum
Roman town of Segobriga
Pastrana/Visigothe site of Recopolis/Roman mine of lapis specularis


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