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The contest of San Esteban combines the musealization of the site with the recovery of the public square (15/04/2019)

The project contest, whose deadline for presenting teams ends on July 5, establishes works below ground, ie, the musealization of the site, and works on ground, which will involve the recovery of the Plaza de San Esteban.

The first fortnight of May the site will receive the visit of architects of recognized prestige, to know at first hand the deposit and to be able to specify its offer to the contest of national ideas.

After the drafting of the project, the works will be executed in this environment of 23,000 m2, with an execution period of 18 months and an investment of 15 million euros.

La Merced will host on May 6 the Seminar 'Archeology of Andalusian suburbs'.

The mayor of Murcia, José Ballesta, the government delegate, Francisco Jiménez, the councilor for Infrastructure, Public Works and Services, Rebeca Pérez, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Miriam Guardiola, the rector of the University of Murcia, José Luján, and the director of the excavations of the site of San Esteban, Jorge Eiroa, today presented the beginning of the lab work of the archaeological finds and informed about the novelties in the recovery of this Andalusian suburb and the Plaza de San Esteban, as well as the next dissemination and academic research actions.

On April 3 the project contest was published with the intervention of a jury for the enhancement of the archaeological site of the Andalusian settlement of La Arrixaca and the garden of San Esteban in Murcia.

The deadline for submission of possible teams culminates on July 5.

This contest, fruit of the agreement between the Government of Spain, Autonomous Community and the City Council, establishes works below ground, that is to say, the musealization of the site, and works on ground, which will involve the recovery of the Plaza de San Esteban as an open public space, compatibilizing both spaces.

In this way, along its 24,000 m2, the environment of San Esteban will be configured as a focus of cultural and tourist attraction unique in our country.

A multidisciplinary team

The technical team that develops the project must be multidisciplinary, being integrated by two technical planners, an architect, an archaeologist, a specialist in calculation of foundations and structures, a person in charge of the works management, a person in charge of execution of work, a responsible of security and health, a specialist in restoration and consolidation, a specialist in museographic projects.

In the list four economic prizes are established, with a total allocation exceeding 43,000 euros, although there will be a single winner who will receive 24,200 euros (first prize), which will be responsible for the drafting of the final work execution project.

The estimated value for the contract of these services that will be provided by the winner of the contest will amount to 1,198,000 euros, which includes the drafting of the basic project and the execution of the work, as well as the construction management together with the multidisciplinary team.

The deadline for the winner of the project contest for writing it is 8 months.

15 million investment and 18 months of work

The material execution budget estimated by the Ministry of Development for the investment object of this action is 15 million euros.

The State will contribute 40% of the financing, while the regional government and Murcia City Council will pay the remaining 60% in equal parts.

Once the project has been drafted, the execution period of the work itself will be 18 months from the moment the act of setting out is signed.

Visit to the site of the bidders

It is a contest open to professionals from around the world.

The first fortnight of the month of May the site will receive the visit of the professionals of the bidding companies, to know at first hand the deposit and to be able to specify its offer to the contest of ideas.

There are already two scheduled dates: May 6 and 20.

2,000 people on guided tours that continue

The excavations of Phase Zero began last November and have brought out valuable discoveries in the 'funduk' (the lodging), the cemetery and the oratory.

To date, some 2,000 people have been able to see these works on site.

The site will remain open to guided tours throughout this spring and summer.

The works now face a new phase: laboratory analysis.

Analyzes of Carbon 14 to the Murcians of the XII century

With the findings of field work now begins a specialized research in collaboration with different national and international laboratories, which will complete the work developed by the Archeology Laboratory of the University of Murcia.

This investigation, which will last until June 20, includes different archaeological, anthropological and restoration aspects.

Thus, we contemplate a series of Carbon 14 analytics that allow us to specify the chronology of the bones found in the cemetery, as well as a Mitochondrial DNA study to define possible kinship relationships.

A stable isotope analysis will also be carried out on the skeletal remains, to define the diet of the inhabitants of El Arrabal.

These and other studies will be decisive for the definitive value of the site and the future Interpretation Center.

Excavations resume in September

But the field work does not end here.

Thanks to a new agreement between the City Council and the University, the excavations will be resumed on September 20, which will allow us to go deeper into Precincts I and II, as well as to expand the excavation area in the cemetery.

The mayor wanted to thank the University of Murcia for its involvement, "a leading institution in scientific research and knowledge transfer, which provides the methodology for the development of the work."

Seminar on Andalusian suburbs on May 6

After the open lecture given by Professor Eiroa last February at the Town Hall, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition with part of the photographic material collected during the excavation that houses the Corregidores Room of La Glorieta, the dissemination work continues with the Seminar 'Archeology of the Andalusian suburbs: the archaeological set of San Esteban in perspective'.

This course of the Research Group Historical Archeology and Heritage of the Western Mediterranean and directed by Jorge Eiroa, will take place on May 6 in the Hemicycle of the Faculty of Letters of La Merced.

It is open to the members of the Group, to the archaeologists and historians of our Region, to the students of the University of Murcia and to all those interested in the topic addressed.

The Seminar tries to promote scientific and academic reflection, focusing attention on the archeology of Andalusian suburbs.

Dr. Alberto León, Titular Professor of Archeology at the University of Córdoba, will outline the general framework of debate, exposing the keys to understanding the emergence of the Islamic urban landscape.

Subsequently, the research team that is carrying out the archaeological intervention in the San Esteban field will present the first results and the perspectives of study that are defined from the field work developed in the last five months.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Murcia

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