PAG general director visits Torres Bermejas dig

Findings include eleven 18th-century copper coins and show different construction phases

The first phase of the archaeology dig being carried out at the Torres Bermejas fortified complex, attributed to the Nasrid dynasty, has brought to light important findings that help to document the phases of its construction and use and its relation to the Alhambra and Granada, particularly during the Middle Ages. Moreover, in the course of the dig, carried out by the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG) Preservation Service, a little “treasure” was found, in the form of 11 copper coins, minted in 1794-95 during the reign of Carlos IV. The coins were found in a hole by the remains of a wall in what used to be the stables.
María del Mar Villafranca, general director of PAG, visited the dig this morning. The Torres Bermejas site consists of three towers, the largest in the centre, joined by a steep wall with a bastion for artillery fire. Villafranca spoke of the importance of the dig as part of a study being undertaken with a view to the future restoration and revaluation of the complex.
This first phase consisted of nine prospective digs, both inside and outside the complex, and an analysis of its walls and subsoil. The findings of the study place the site in relation to the Alcazaba, dated to the 11th century or Zirid period, and other sections of the city walls, including the section which runs from the Alhambra to the Gateway of the Pomegranates, and the section which ascends from said gateway to Torres Bermejas.
Also found were two Muslim tombs, close to the second tower. Built in yellow sandstone from the La Malá area, they would have formed part of the Sabika maqbara or necropolis.
Torres Bermejas shows signs of having undergone many changes, particularly after the Christian conquest and in the 16th century. For a long time and until the mid 20th century, it was used as a prison and as an army barracks. Mauror Hill, where the towers are located, was traditionally known as Garnata al-Yahud, because it was inhabited mainly by Jews. The towers give amazing views over the city and of one of the least-well known profiles of the Alcazaba.

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