Digging up the past

Dénia castle works unearth 11th-century palace

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A PALACE dating back to the 11th century when much of Spain was under Arab rule has been uncovered during maintenance works on Dénia castle.
Historians are in the middle of restoring the Renaissance stairwell, part of the Governor’s Palace which was commissioned in the 17th century by the Duke of Lerma, fifth Marquis of Dénia, and made the ancient discovery whilst digging.
The palace they have found was built somewhere between the years 1070 and 1100, in between the fall of the Taifa and the beginning of the Almoravid rule.
Two circular towers at the corners were discovered, remaining from what appears to have been a Mediaeval fortress, and shards of ceramic pottery are being studied.
These findings confirm that the ruling upper classes in what was then known as Daniyya lived at the top of the castle, which was once the nucleus of the town with the rest of the residential quarters gradually radiating out from it.

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