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The first phase has been completed for the rehabilitation of Marmolejo's Civil War fortifications.

The Marmolejeno Conistory's efforts to recover and preserve the remains and fortifications from the civil war in the municipal terms of the locality, was completed last week.

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The first phase has been completed for the rehabilitation of Marmolejo's Civil War fortifications.

The Marmolejeno Conistory's efforts to recover and preserve the remains and fortifications from the civil war in the municipal terms of the locality, was completed last week.

These structures are already listed in the Historical Heritage Catalog. They have been rehabilitated by a team of archaeologists so they can be viewed starting at the end of 2022. The first phase lasted about one month. It was managed by Marcos Soto and Jose Luis Serrano, who also have a dedicated field team. This intervention was also carried out by Jose Luis Perez, a professor at the University of Jaen's Department of Engineering, Cartography and Geodesy, and Santiago Jaen Milla, a member of the Department of Didactics of Social Sciences.

The Consistory of Marmolejo was satisfied with the results and the improvements that will be made in the area. The Marmolejo City Council funds the entire cost of these recovery works on the old National A-4 highway.

With an endowment amounting to 20,000 euros, it was counted. Rafael Valdivia (Councillor for Culture and Historical Heritage), explained that these efforts have led to the discovery of a first defense group around the old main street. It consists of a machine gun nest and an underground shelter underneath the road, which is in perfect condition. The area councilor says that this first approach also allowed for the discovery of "another hidden defensive group" whose mission it was to defend the area around the train track, Guadalquivir River and the entire fertile plain surrounding San Julian. A nest of three machine guns, trench and shelter intact were found at this point. The archaeological surveys also revealed a third defense group around Santa Cecilia's farmhouse.

Jose Luis Serrano is the director of excavation. He explained that there were many constructions left in ruins in various areas of the municipality. Therefore, it was decided to test the conservation status of those constructions in one specific area. The archaeologist responsible for this intervention was inspired by the first work that was done in the Santa Cecilia area or Las Monjas farmhouse. "The start of the trenches connecting those bunkers to the anti-troop shelters has been discovered and different fortifications or underground concrete bunkers from that time have been found," he explained.

Serrano explained that the team was also able to perform "from the surface details, an array of geomagnetic searches with a metal detector in order to recover all the significant metallic elements."

This project, which focuses on vestige recovery in Andalusia is a pioneering effort. It is the first time an archaeological intervention has been made on vestiges from the civil war. "In all municipalities there are bunkers. There are anti-aircraft shelters within the urban centers. But no town has yet valued fortifications of civil war on the same Front. It is also the first time it has been done using archaeological prospecting."

Valdivia about the work done. This intervention, for which additional sources of funding are being sought, has allowed access to a variety of information about projectiles, decorations and buckles that provides data on the progress of the fight at Marmolejo.

We are pleased with the outcome because we have opened up a new line in tourism, a war tourism. It is on the rise at national level. We have been amazed that they are so well-maintained, that they are unrivalled, and that they have a bright future. The Councilor for Culture and Historical Heritage, Marmolejo City Council, stated that there are more shelters and defensive groups that have not yet been discovered in the first phase.

To increase the value of the remains, the Consistory will next draft a project to restore and consolidate all elements found in the first phase. This will include the three defensive groups. The Consistory is also working on a project for musealization, which will allow anyone to safely access these remains of the Spanish civil conflict in Marmolejo. This project is expected to be complete by the end 2022.

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