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Remains of 13thC pilgrims found at Ibaneta


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Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome: reports that incomplete remains of four individuals were found near the church of San Salvador or Charlemagne, during the filming of the documentary 778 - La Chanson de Roland. The film directed by Olivier Van der Zee is based on the battle of Roncesvalles.
"Of the four individuals, two of the bodies had some anatomical connection and so you can tell which belonged to an adult man and a woman. The woman is the only one who has been dated to the second half of the thirteenth century," said Mercedes Unzu, cabinet member archeology Trama, who led the excavations. "The bodies were found buried near the west wing of the old church and according to Christian ritual, the head was west and looking east to see the sunset," he said.

The archaeologist emphasized that it is presumed that they were pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago "because they were buried together with the traditional Jacobean scallops. Moreover, the fact that they belong to the fourteenth century is significant, since that was one of the times of pilgrimage par excellence ".

The Ibañeta excavations began in last September after finishing the filming of this documentary, which extended to include various locations in France, Germany and the UK. The main objective of the film was, according to the director, "to recover the true story of Charlemagne and the battle of Roncesvalles."
"During the process there were several surveys in the surroundings of Alto de Ibañeta. Some have not paid off, but at others we presented some findings, as part of a Roman road in the area closest to Benartea" said Unzu. "Also, next to the present church of San Salvador, located on the former north-south, they found remains of a buttress of the previous temple," he said.

Ibañeta has always been, in the words of the archaeologist, a place of strife, where burials were often carried out fast with simple pits. "This meant that the remains found in these areas could be either people who participated in the struggles or pilgrims who liked to be buried next to St. James of the scallop symbol. More likely were of this second class," said Unzu.
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Excavations in Tuam, co. Galway, Ireland, some years ago found medieval burials with scallop shells, presumably pilgrims who had made it back to Ireland.

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