Xurxo Ayán begins archaeology project in Galicia

May 10, 2019 | News

May marked the beginning of the new project headed by Xurxo Ayán, IHC’s newest principal researcher, that joined us after winning an FCT contract. It is the archaeological project “Adegas da Memória” [Cellars of Memory] and its main objective is to investigate the anti-Franco resistance and the organisation of the escape routes of the Spanish Republicans to the north of Portugal.

This project is part of the work that Xurxo Ayán will develop at the IHC, under the theme “Archaeology of the New State” and encompasses three aspects: the excavation, with the collaboration of the local community, of The Convents, the presumed location of the ruins of an hermitage abandoned in the thirteenth century, to reconstruct the origin of the symbolic and cultural landscape; the investigation of the twentieth century memory of the Vilacha community, especially with regard to the Spanish Civil War, the repression and the construction of dams by the Franco regime; and to investigate the hideaways that the Republicans used to later flee to Portugal.

An example of this last component was the case of Juan Tizón Herreros, socialist president of the Council of Monforte de Lemos, who fled to Porto, where he died in 1945.

The project is financed by the municipality of A Pobra do Brollón and the Asociación de Vecinos de Vilachá, a Galician parish, in the wine region of Ribeira Sacra, which aims to apply for a UNESCO World Heritage.

The research will be accompanied by a documentary series available online, also called “Adegas da Memória” and from which you can already see the first episodes, at the link https://adegasdamemoria.com/.


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