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Davidson Day student archaeologists headed to Spain

Student archaeologists from Davidson Day School will fly to Spain on Friday to participate in a dig at the 12th-century medieval castle of Zorita de los Canes.

Mat Saunders, an archaeologist and a teacher at Davidson Day, will lead the team at the site, about an hour east of Madrid.

The standing castle was occupied by Christians, Jews and Muslims over its life and was built from the stones of an ancient Visagothic city, Saunders said. The 14-member Davidson Day team will be the first to excavate at the site, he said. The team will excavate a cemetery presumed to hold the tombs of the medieval city’s knights.

Saunders also has led student teams in recent years to the Central American country of Belize to unearth artifacts at a tomb of Maya royals who ruled more than a thousand years ago.

His American Foreign Academic Research nonprofit is based at the school and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for student scholarships and preservation of the archaeological sites they discover. Joe Marusak