Fieldwork

Archaeology of Violence in the Spanish Civil War. Excavations in Belchite battlefield & destroyed town

Location: Ctra. Cariñena, 3I, 50130 Belchite, Zaragoza, Spain

Season: July 1, 2020 to July 16, 2020

Session Dates: First 16 days of July 2020

Application Deadline: June 15, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/History-Museum/Asociaci%C3%B3n-Espa%C3%B1ola-de-Arqueolog%C3%ADa-Militar-108995293795121/

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:
No

Affiliation:
Asociación Española de Arqueología Militar (Spanish Association of Military Archaeology) & Belchite City Council

Project Director:
Alfonso Fanjul Peraza. Phd. in Archaeology, Autonomous University of Madrid; Degree in Prehistory, University of Salamanca; Degree in History, University of Oviedo; President, Spanish Association of Military Archaeology; Manager, Cuetu Civil War Museum, Lugones, Asturias; Recipient, several cultural research awards; Manager, numerous archaeological excavations relating to the Spanish Civil War.

Project Description:

Belchite, a small city founded by the Romans, was the scene in 1937 of a major battle of the Spanish Civil War. Surrounded by Republican troops and international brigades, including the Lincoln Brigade, the city was defended house by house in intensive battles for two weeks until, finally, the 600 soldiers remaining from the original 3000 defending the town, made an attempt to escape to the Nationalist city of Zaragoza; only 200 troops made it there alive. After retaking the town, Nationalist leader, Franco, prohibited reconstruction, wanting the ruined town to remain as a symbol and monument of the civil war; excursions to the town were compulsory for all Spanish students.

Untouched since the battle, the streets, buildings and, in particular, the wine cellars, still contain a large quantity of remains from the battle and from daily life before the war, as well as human remains and weapons. This will be the first archaeological project in the old quarter of the ancient town that includes excavations and clearing of the street from which the last remaining troops made a desperate attempt to flee. Moreover, we will be exploring various spaces and wine cellars in the city that have been closed off until now, virtually becoming time capsules.

Period(s) of Occupation: Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Also our project will take place in Calle del Señor, in the heart of the mediaeval town, between the Arab and Jewish quarters.

Notes:
LOCATION Belchite is located in the north-east of Spain, in the province of Aragon, 45 minutes from the provincial capital, Zaragoza. The current population of 1500 inhabitants live in the new town, which was built at a distance from the battlefield in 1939 by prisoners of war from the international brigades. The town depends mainly on agriculture for its livelihood. HOW TO GET THERE Daily trains and buses depart for Zaragoza from Madrid and Barcelona. From Zaragoza, there is a bus service to Belchite, making ten trips a day, that leaves from the central bus station. A timetable will be supplied. NB: High speed trains running from Madrid and Barcelona to Zaragoza may be costly. In this case, the bus may be a less expensive option. DATES July 1 – 17, 2020 WORK SCHEDULE On the first day there will be a guided tour of the ruins of the old city, as an introduction to the project, and on the same day talks will be given on the history of the area, the work schedule for the project and safety guidelines for the excavations. Team members will work five days a week, leaving a day free to visit the battlefield and a rest day. Work at the excavation will begin at 7am on weekdays in order to avoid high midday temperatures. In the afternoon, after the lunch break, there will be laboratory tasks and a series of seminars on different aspects of the Spanish Civil War. Between lunch and the laboratory work, team members will have access to the municipal swimming pool. Dinner will be in a local restaurant.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: Experience non required

Room and Board Arrangements:
ACCOMODATION Accommodation will be provided in the new village, just a 10-minute walk from the excavation site. IMPORTANT NOTES: Travel insurance: It is essential to have travel insurance. Climate and clothing: Due to high temperatures, you will need only summer clothing and you will need to bring sunscreen. Necessities: If you need to purchase necessities or require medical attention, you will find supermarkets, a pharmacy and a medical centre in Belchite. FEE The fee for 17 days of fieldwork is €1000. This includes accommodation, three meals a day, work materials, and various lectures and cultural excursions. WORK SCHEDULE On the first day there will be a guided tour of the ruins of the old city, as an introduction to the project, and on the same day talks will be given on the history of the area, the work schedule for the project and safety guidelines for the excavations. Team members will work five days a week, leaving a day free to visit the battlefield and a rest day. Work at the excavation will begin at 7am on weekdays in order to avoid high midday temperatures. In the afternoon, after the lunch break, there will be laboratory tasks and a series of seminars on different aspects of the Spanish Civil War. Between lunch and the laboratory work, team members will have access to the municipal swimming pool. Dinner will be in a local restaurant. BOOKING YOUR PLACE: Contact the director, Alfonso Fanjul. Email. schoolofarchaeology@gmail.com

Academic Credit:
A certificate of 110 hours of fieldwork experience & lectures on Conflict archaeology will be given by the Spanish Association of Military Archaeology

Contact Information:


Alfonso Fanjul

Oviedo

Asturias

33199

Spain

schoolofarchaeology@gmail.com

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