MADRID – Archaeologists have made remarkable finds in the Entrevías neighbourhood, part of the Vallecas district, in Madrid. The finds prove that life for the working class was improving just before the Spanish Civil War.
The archaeologists carried out their work under the guidance of Alfredo González-Ruibal, researcher at the Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). The scientists looked for the oldest evidence of houses that were bombed at the start of the Civil War in 1936. They discovered burned remains of homes from the 1920s, destroyed during the first attacks of the Civil War. “These finds are the first archaeological documentation of the bombing of Madrid,” says González-Ruibal.
Luxury and prosperity
What attracted the most attention, however, were the remains of porcelain tableware and glassware. “The quality of these items points to a more Burgundian lifestyle among some residents,” the archaeologist explains in the Infobae newspaper. They also found imported ceramics, fine German porcelain teacups and coffee cups more characteristic of the bourgeoisie than of the working class.
Remarkably, numerous remains of crustaceans such as oysters, mussels and clams were also found, in addition to fish spines and bones of pigs, cattle and chickens. This indicates a varied diet rich in protein, something that would be unusual for a working-class area.
Social diversity and changing times
“It is important to remember that these were the years before the Civil War, when the living conditions of workers were improving,” González-Ruibal emphasises. He also points to the social diversity of the neighbourhood, with many skilled workers who worked on the railways. This is in stark contrast to the current situation; Today the Vallecas district is one of the poorest districts of Madrid.
After these interesting discoveries, González-Ruibal’s team hopes to return next year to learn more about Madrid’s history.