If Sherlock Holmes could, from a tiny track, to know who had been the killer, the team of professor of History, Antonio Manuel Poveda Navarro (University of Alicante) and of the archaeologist Jose Luis Fuentes Sanchez (University of Granada) has resolved one of the big unknowns of the world religious visigoth, thanks to having found buried a modest piece of pottery of north africa, in the municipality of Granátula de Calatrava (Ciudad Real): if he existed or not the Bishopric of Oretum, who destroyed him and why. Have proved with this discovery that the south of the then all-powerful at Toledo in the sixth century won the much-discussed episcopate -bishop and deacon (including a kind of assistant not secular, who performed the work that his superior did not want) – and to have discovered the spectacular tomb of the latter. The deacon was buried, in addition, in a mausoleum, under 15 layers of protection, and surrounded by dozens of graves of the faithful who adored him. It was called Aurelius Vincentius and survived 70 years old, less than those who managed to endure the episcopate where he performed his pastoral work and was crushed, finally, by the envious Toledo.


Orgaz unearths your city visigoth

Toledo in the sixth century it was the capital of the visigothic kingdom, and, thus, it had the most powerful bishopric. In it were held the councils had to decide, among other issues, whether the monarch -and the people in consequence – had to profess the faith arian or catholic. Any attempt to pick up an episcopate in the south of the city and, therefore, diminish their power would cause their anger. “When the diocese of Oretum tried, Toledo demanded to Rome that stopped. And it did so by two bulls signed by the Pope himself”, explains Antonio Manuel Poveda, one of the directors of the excavations. Until then, the official history.

But that all changed when in 2005 an archaeological team began excavating a hammán (arab baths) in Granátula de Calatrava. The baths had been constructed in the IX century on a previous settlement visigoth. When you open the terrain, the experts saw that under this differed a mosaic. What they photographed and covered it. This past summer, the team of Poveda and Sources again to open the basement: there was the beautiful lauda made with tiles and a cryptogram that was a reference to Christ. At the bottom was an inscription: Deacon Aurelius Vincentius, who died at the age of 70″. And when you open the tomb under the lauda, the body of the church.

View of the reservoir of Oretum (Ciudad Real). Antonio Manuel Poveda

Thus began the phase deductive research. If there was deacon, had bishop. If there was a bishop, had been bishop. But to what dates? Were not recorded. In Toledo, were held in those days the councils II and III, in the years 527 and 589. In the first of them there is not recorded the presence of any alleged “bishop of Oretum”, but four prelates who do not know their origin.

When it was found this summer in the tomb of Aurelius Vincentius discovered that he had been coated, to protect it, with 15 layers of different materials, including a chamber of air that was constructed with tiles and ceramics. One of the small pieces found (about 15 centimeters) corresponded to a dish made in the north of Africa between the 530 and the 570, known as the type Clear D. that Is to say, at the very latest, the fragment was used in the excavation mortuary of the deceased between the years 570 and 580, at which time Aurelius was a deacon and, therefore, was to the orders of a bishop, the Oretum. The enigma was solved.

baptismal Pool tetralobulada where the bishop of Oretum baptized. Antonio Manuel Poveda

The body was found in the tomb he was buried at the end of the VI with a kind of toga (the dalmatic), and a cingulum (cord for the waist), but the step of the centuries has become both in the dust. Within the burial, apart from your bones, has not been found any other object of value. “This demonstrates”, indicates Poveda, “that he wished to be buried with all humility of mind, away from other ecclesial current existing at the time and advocated burials richer. The movie the name of the rose very well reflects this division.”

Now, all the remains were found in the Institute of Archaeological Research, Oretum (Granátula de Calatrava), and as permitted in the legislation will be able to stay on it or be transferred to the Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real, where they shall rest with a cartouche which could be read: “Tomb of Aurelius Vincentius, who died at the age of 70 and humble and beloved deacon of the Bishopric of Oretum, the that annulled Toledo in the THIRTEENTH century to maintain its power after the christian conquest of the lands of the south”.


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