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EXCAVATION DATE: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 surveys.
AREA: 2500 m2
FUNDING: Council of Soriguera
CHRONOLOGY: Bronze Age, Medieval Age, 1936-1939.
The settlement of Santa Creu is located at 1628 meters high in Soriguera, in the head of the Siarb valley, mentioned in documents from the 10th c. and occupies the entire rocky summit of Tossal de la Santa Creu, also known as Cap de les Culties.
Between 1993 and 1997, a research and archaeological project was developed with the aim to study and rehabilitate the medieval mountain village, taking into account from the beginning its chances to become a heritage asset. Archaeological survey affected two significant areas of the settlement, on the one hand the religious and defensive space, located in the north-west, where a small Romanesque church and a circular tower were found; and on the other hand, areas of housing, located in the south and centre of the walled enclosure.
So far, we have not found documentary references that can be directly associated with the settlement. The place name that has survived to the present must correspond to a late name, given once the village was abandoned and lost its original name. Other known mentions about the ancient Siarb valley are not explicit about the settlement name or its church.
After archaeological survey the historical dynamics of the site can be explained. We have identified three main moments of human occupation on the hill:
The prehistoric settlement: During the first excavations became evident the presence of abundant prehistoric materials (ceramic, lithic industry and manual millstones) mixed in the rubble and integrated into strata and medieval structures. Sometimes small concentrations of material and layers in its original position also were found. This evidence of occupation during the prehistoric era, either temporary or stable, can be fixed in the Middle/ Late Bronze age. The construction of the medieval village has seriously affected the prehistoric remains and we are not able to say much about the organization or other characteristics of the settlement.
The medieval village: The origin of the settlement cannot be dated precisely. All that we can say is that around the 10th – 11th centuries a medieval village occupies the entire surface of the hill. The organization of spaces and buildings construction features may think of a certain uniformity and contemporary building for the main part of the settlement. The last phase of occupation and abandonment must be placed towards the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, roughly.
The military occupation during the Civil War: Between 1936 and 1939, the site is occupied as a place of entrenchment of troops or small armed groups, making it a strategic point of control and visual unbeatable. From this enclave the valley and the pass of Cantó can be controlled. Attributable to this point we have identified some buildings made of dry stone, using stones from the medieval village, as watchtowers or shelters, as well as machine-gun nests located in different parts of the hill and in dominant pits.