The mystery about the necropolis of San Pedro

The mystery about the necropolis of San Pedro

Skeletons from the XNUMXth century rise to the surface greeted by the music of a bluetooth speaker. It is the secular shock that lives these days the plot that the church of Sonsoto, in the municipality of Trescasas, occupied until well into the XNUMXth century. The archaeologists are there at work, making history live. After a week of excavation, the walls of the old temple and the human remains of its cemetery are clearly visible, since the churches of the time had a cemetery. One by one, the archaeologists thoroughly clean the bone tissue, photograph the remains and document the find on a file, including a drawing. It is the fine-tuning of some remains that will end their itinerary at the Provincial Museum and that have allowed us to locate on the map a parish that the passage of time turned into ruins.

The plot where the archaeologists work is not a site, but what their jargon describes as a chance find. What was a nuclear place of the town for centuries will be in the near future a spacious chalet. The promoter of the work interrupted his plans when the workers ran into the walls of the old temple. Once the Trescasas City Council was notified, the Heritage Commission approved the authorization for the archaeological excavation and documentation of the remains. The archaeologists started work last week.

Until the 1759th century, in the reign of Carlos III (1788-XNUMX), Sonsoto and Trescasas were two independent towns and each one had its own temple; Then the current church of the municipality was built and now Sonsoto is a neighborhood of Trescasas. The disappeared church of San Pedro dates back to the late Romanesque, around the XNUMXth century. Once the new joint temple was built, the old church fell into disuse and its structure deteriorated over the years. The church of San Benito, which until then was the church of Trescasas, was in turn transformed into the municipal cemetery and hosted the necropolis that until then were in each of the churches.

The construction of the new temple responds to a decision of Carlos III in all Spain: to remove the church cemeteries. The one from La Granja was the first to do so. “The two churches were in ruins, so take advantage of it and make one in the middle for the two towns. It is very good for them to use Trescasas as a cemetery because it is a little on the outskirts. And this is in disuse ”, underlines Miguel Yuste, archaeologist director of this excavation and a resident of Trescasas.

The Territorial Service of Culture and Tourism of the Junta de Castilla y León has worked together with the Trescasas City Council and with the promoters of the works, who are the ones who finance the archaeological works. After a prior assessment of the remains found, the work will be limited to the excavation of funeral contexts at risk of loss or destruction. In parallel, the construction remains and foundations are cleaned manually, as well as their archaeological documentation, prior to their protection.

In their research, archaeologists have found the foundations of the walls and the necropolis. The remains of the cemetery are skeletal. "They are human skeletal remains in burial graves that we are trying to value and can go from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century," explains Yuste. Regarding the church, they have found "the walls and voussoirs of an arch." As soon as the driver began to see things, he notified the promoter and he, following the law, notified the territorial archaeologist. That sometimes happens, archaeologists do not always have all the sites located ”. The historical conclusion of the find is not minor: "We have located a church that we did not have located, its dimensions and the funerary use it had."

Necropolis

Source: The Adelantado de Segovia