An important discovery.
CAIRO – Spanish researchers in Ciudad Real province have unearthed a 1,000-year-old Islamic cemetery, in the first sign that the rich Islamic civilization has extended to Castilla-La Mancha centuries ago.
There is “a world to explore,” statement published by the Spanish city Alcázar de San Juan town hall was quoted by The Local on Wednesday, August 13.
“We are not talking about a four-year project: to fully understand everything it’s going to take one or two hundred years.”
After two weeks of digging in the town of Alcázar de San Juan in the Ciudad Real province, found fragments of household goods from the bronze age as well as a Roman inscription and traces of Celtiberian settlements.
For project leader Víctor López Menchero, the most important discovery was for an ancient necropolis containing seven bodies believed to be Muslims.
The positioning of the bodies, facing Makkah, confirmed that it was a Muslim graveyard.
López Menchero asserted that the discovery of an Islamic graveyard was one of the few pieces of evidence that Muslims lived in Castilla-La Mancha.
López Menchero’s archaeological project, jointly run by Castilla-La Mancha University and authorities in Alcázar de San Juan was established in 2013.
Muslims ruled much of Spain for centuries starting from 711 to 1492.
Their last king was defeated by Catholic king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1492.
After that Muslims mosques were either left to ruin or converted into churches.
There are nearly 1.6 million Muslims in Spain, making up 3.4% of the country’s 47 million population, according to an Andalusian Observatory.
About 1.1 million of Spain’s Muslims re foreigners, while 464,978 are Spanish Muslims.
Islam is the second religion in Spain after Christianity and has been recognized through the 1967 law of religious freedom.
A recent survey found that 70% of Spain’s Muslims feel at home in the European country and that 80 percent feel they have adapted well to the Spanish way of life.