The Alhambra presents its innovative, scientific Archaeology Plan for the 21st Century

The Alhambra Archaeology Plan is “a reality” and “a forward-looking project” that seeks to expand our knowledge of the Group of Monuments from a “scientific and innovative” point of view.
The Alhambra Archaeology Plan is “a reality” and “a forward-looking project” that seeks to expand our knowledge of the Group of Monuments from a “scientific and innovative” point of view. With these words, the Director of the Council of the Alhambra and Generalife, María del Mar Villafranca Jiménez, this morning presented the document that she claims will make the Nasrid fortress a “point of reference and a model for archaeological intervention in the 21st Century”. The event at the Palace of Charles V was also attended by Francisco González Lodeiro, the Rector of the University of Granada and Antonio Malpica Cuello, Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of Granada.
After three years of work, reflected in almost 10,000 pages and over 3,500 photographs, previously unpublished maps and archaeological index cards, among other contents, the Alhambra Archaeology Plan has enabled us to make a full diagnosis of the Group of Monuments after identifying and assessing the excavated areas, analysing the archaeological materials on deposit, setting up a data bank, drawing up archaeological intervention protocols and drafting the rules governing archaeological intervention at the Alhambra. A total of 18 people have taken part in the creation of this Plan.
The central feature of the Archaeological Plan, which has a budget of 341,465 Euros, is the Archaeological Chart or Map. This has proved to be an “essential” tool that has enabled researchers to perform the historical characterization of the territory, the identification of the alterations that the archaeological records may have undergone and its potential value for future research, and for conservation needs.
The document is part of Strategic Line III of the Alhambra Master-Plan entitled “The Alhambra as a cultural landscape – Archaeology of the landscape”. It has a special section on the zoning of the Monument, according to its archaeological areas, and it considers the Alhambra and its territory as an “archaeological site that is integrated into the space around it, according to historical and archaeological criteria”. 
Lastly the document specifies the highest priority areas for research and investigation in the Group of Monuments such as the Royal Water-Channel, the Alcazaba, the Alhambra Walls, Dar al-Arusa, the Medina, the Palace of the Abencerrajes, the Alhambra’s periurban space, the vegetable-gardens in the Generalife, exploration of the Generalife and the Nasrid Palaces. It also proposes a series of measures such as the reinforcement of the Archaeology Technical Unit to supervise and monitor archaeological interventions and continuing assessing the archaeological potential for evaluating the quality of archaeological deposits. 
The Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of Granada, Antonio Malpica, led the multidisciplinary team, (made up of archaeologists, architects and documentalists, together with the research group on Toponymy, History and Archaeology of the Kingdom of Granada linked to the University of Granada) that drafted the Plan, which was coordinated by the Director of the Council of the Alhambra, by the head of the Council’s  Conservation and Protection Department, Francisco Lamolda, and by the Council’s archaeologist and conservator, Jesús Bermúdez. 
For Malpica it is “absolutely essential” that the Alhambra of the 21st Century has its “Archaeology Plan because without archaeology there can be no knowledge and without knowledge there can be no conservation. This document broadens the historical and archaeological information about the Alhambra and the Generalife and their surrounding territory, which as of today is still insufficient and fragmented and has many shortfalls”.
For more information, please visit www.alhambra-patronato.es 

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