A MASS grave filled with the remains of at least 90 people has been unearthed in central Madrid.
The discovery came during construction of a new theatre.
Archaeologists have exhumed the raft of bodies, which lay in a historic district with special government protection.
A civil war shelter and an underground channel originally used to supply water to the Spanish capital have also been found.
The skeletal remains most likely date to the seventeenth century and belong to the Church of the Desamparados, which formerly occupied the site.
They have been handed to an anthropologist who will investigate whether the deaths were natural and establish their sex and approximate ages before passing them onto the regional Archaeology Museum.
The site is next door to the former Juan de la Cuesta printing firm on calle Atocha, where the first copy of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes’ influential novel Don Quixote was produced in 1605.