June 23, 2021

Pueblo Viejo is the Foundational Site of Sancti Spiritus

Explorations at Pueblo Viejo —located some 6 kilometers east of Sancti Spiritus— were resumed in 2009, and later on in January 2013. In the maelstrom of activity on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Sancti Spiritus, to be celebrated next June 4th, the village has been granted two presents. It was such said by …

Explorations at Pueblo Viejo —located some 6 kilometers east of Sancti Spiritus— were resumed in 2009, and later on in January 2013.

In the maelstrom of activity on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Sancti Spiritus, to be celebrated next June 4th, the village has been granted two presents. It was such said by the city Historian Antonieta Jiménez Margolles, when referring to the recent archeological discoveries at Serafin Sanchez Park —currently being submitted to overhaul repair—, and the determination of Pueblo Viejo (Old Town) as the foundational site of the village.

Different hypothesis were ventured on the topic by personalities such as Tadeo Martínez-Moles, Segundo Marín, Antonio Núñez Jiménez, and Manuel Martínez-Moles. In his book Contribución al Folclore, Leyendas y Anécdotas Espirituanas (Contribution to Folklore, Legends, and Anecdotes of Sancti Spiritus) published in 1926, Martínez-Moles wrote: “nearby Tuinucu, between two small streams, which were later on named as El Fraile and Pueblo Viejo, where a small indigenous population served as basis for the emerging village of Sancti Spiritus”.

At the beginning of the 90s of the last century, the first excavations were carried out in Pueblo Viejo, led by Ubaldo Lazo, the then director of the Municipal History Museum of Sancti Spiritus; Javier Sanzo, historian of the city at that moment, and architect Félix Bismarck González Alea, who since 1983 was in charge of the technical board for the conservation and restoration of the historic area of the village.

As a result of the excavations, evidences of the aboriginal culture were found, as well as items related with the Spanish colonizers.

According to archaeology expert Orlando Álvarez de la Paz, from the Provincial Center of Cultural Heritage, explorations at Pueblo Viejo —located some 6 kilometers east of Sancti Spiritus— were resumed in 2009, and later on in January 2013.

Experts from the Sama group, under the Speleological Society of Cuba, and from the Archaeology Department of Havana City Historian Office, joined the research in 2013, as well.

Lots of new evidences were found that support the presence of the two abovementioned cultures in the Pueblo Viejo.

Early this year, the experts returned to the site, accompanied by researchers from the Institute of Antropology, who confirmed elements of the transcultural process that took place between aboriginals and Spaniards.

Anait Gómez, director of the Provincial Center of Cultural Heritage, told Radio Sancti Spiritus that given the amount of evidences so far reported, a request has been forwarded so as to grant Pueblo Viejo the title of National Monument.

 

Texto de Enrique Ojito

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