search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Sixth-Century Town Surveyed in Spain

Friday, June 21, 2019

ALCALÁ DE HENARES, SPAIN—Live Science reports that researchers led by Michael McCormick of Harvard University and Lauro Olmo Enciso of the University of Alcalá have conducted a geomagnetic survey of the site of Reccopolis, a walled town constructed in A.D. 578 by King Leovigild, ruler of the Visigoths. The project revealed that the town spilled out beyond the boundary of its walls. “It’s really remarkable to see the Visigothic monarchy coming together at this time and assembling the resources to be able to found a new city,” McCormick said. At the time, volcanic eruptions had brought on what is known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age, a period usually associated with imperial collapse, famine, mass migrations, and an outbreak of bubonic plague. One large building identified during the survey is oriented toward Mecca, and its floor plan resembles that of mosques in the Middle East, McCormick added. It may date to the period after the Islamic conquest of the region in A.D. 711. For more on Spain in the medieval period, go to “Spain's Lost Jewish History.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement