Dig success at Roman site
Roman port town under excavation
The secrets of ancient Santa Pola are being revealed
By Alex Watkins SECRETS of ancient Santa Pola are being revealed by new archaeological excavations of a necropolis at the site called La Picola.
The work has been underway for three weeks and aims to shed light on the life of residents when the town was known as Portus Illicitanus.
One of the project directors, Alicante university professor Jaime Molina said that in the area of the necropolis, which borders Calle Pedro Zamora, ‘walls have been exposed which go further, indicating that the burials and structures continue under this street’.
Bodies had already been found in the area back in 2007, and this year they are excavating the central area where they are certain there will be more.
“We have found an individual without a tomb, who is probably a woman but this will be studied,” said Juan Francisco Álvarez, another project director.
“A couple of stones that were showing on the surface turned out to be holding her skull, the front of which was destroyed.
"Although it is complete, it is very broken.”
He noted that a ‘quite interesting’ tomb is now being excavated, which is still sealed. They have also discovered ‘the remains of one or two individuals, but we cannot tell because it is a jumble of bones’.
“With them we discovered funeral goods, a couple of bronze bracelets,” he noted.
As well as seeing how the necropolis worked, there is also an area of storehouses for the port, which have walls that had been knocked down, rebuilt, extended or shortened over various phases.
“It is very complete and interpreting this could help us to understand how this area and the whole port were used,” explained Sr Álvarez.
“The storehouses came at a time of major growth, but they were not there at first and they were abandoned later when maritime trade decreased.”
This year the archaeologists excavated a storehouse they did not know about before, where they found an amphora that was complete but in pieces.
“This is very interesting because the life of the building tells the history of the whole area,” he added.
The dig site in Santa Pola