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1,000-year-old vineyards discovered in Spain

Madrid, Dec 31 (): A new archaeological study says that traces of an ancient vineyard that dates back to 1,000 years were discovered in a long-deserted medieval village in the Basque region of northern Spain.

The terraced fields are located in the medieval settlement of Zaballa and the fields were once intensely used to grow grape vines. They were discovered by researchers from the University of Basque Country in Northern Spain.

The archaeologists also uncovered metal tools that were likely used to maintain the ancient vineyards. With the evidence of the metal tools discovered and the study of the agricultural spaces, which owing to the nature of the crop spaces built and the agrarian practices developed, they are not well-matched with cereal crops but they are with vines.

In 15th century, the village of Zaballa was uninhibited, mainly after local lords operating under a newly formed rent-seeking system made many of the settlers of the village to move.

Zaballa is one of more than 300 deserted settlements collectively known as Araba-Alava. After finding out the place, the archaeologists of the University of the Basque Country are making intense efforts to reconstruct the rural heritage of the region by combing the remains of these deserted settlements.

The researchers are bringing together some of the most important archaeological records of medieval history throughout northern Spain. Quiros-Castillo and his colleagues have found out another abandoned settlement called Zornotegi in Araba-Alava. They discovered that the terraced fields in this village were dedicated to cultivate grains and cereals.

Quiros-Castillo said Zornoztegi had an entirely different history, even though it was founded at more or less the same time, it is a much more free social community in which such noteworthy social differences are neither observed, nor is the action of manorial powers which, in some way, undermined the balance of the community.