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2,000-year-old settlement in Santiagomendi (Basque Country)

A 2,000-year-old settlement has been found Santiagomendi,

A research team from the Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi and the University of Deusto have been working around the summit of Santiagomendi (Astigarraga) since 1993 and have recently made important discoveries about the sites past. Santiagomendi is known above all for its hilltop church, traditionally linked with the Camino de Santiago, but the archaeological research undertaken by Aranzadi is also providing information on the importance of this site for the knowledge of recent prehistory in Gipuzkoa. The archaeological remains indicate that Santiagomendi was occupied at least throughout the last millennium B.C. and very possibly abandoned coinciding with the incorporation of the territory of Gipuzkoa into the Roman Empire, maybe in the last years of I century B.C. or a little after the change in the calendar era. The finds carried out are especially relevant because they show a continuous occupation of the zone, traces being dispersed over a radius of less than 2 kilometres. Its study enables us to know both the ways of life and the funerary customs over successive generations of inhabitants of the area, something which is exceptional in proto-historical archaeology in Gipuzkoa, Santiagomendi being the site where, for the first time, funerary remains and habitat of the same period (the Iron Age, VIII - I centuries B.C.) have been found in a relatively small. Field work since 2001 has uncovered the remains of a dwelling occupied during the Late Iron Age, between the II and I centuries B.C. not discarding a prolongation of its use during some years in the I century A.D. This research is part of a wider programme taking in all he Gipuzkoan coastal fringe, Mutriku to Oiartzun, researchers from the Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi and the University of Deusto Humanities Faculty involved. The VII excavation campaign at Santiagomendi is currently under way, having started on 26 July and to finish on 13 August.