Dig suc­cess at Ro­man site

Ro­man port town un­der ex­ca­va­tion

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - Awatkins@cbnews.es

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

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