Romans on the radar
A ground-penetrating radar survey has started at La Picola
GROUND-penetrating radar (GPR) started surveying streets in Santa Pola on Tuesday around the archaeological site of La Picola, the market and the Palmeral.
The purpose is to determine how far the Roman settlement of Portus Ilicitanus extended and what condition any remaining structures underground may be in.
“The GPR sends out waves which provide a reading and give a profile of what is there, but afterwards all this information has to be processed,” explained excavation director, Juan Francisco Álvarez. “Without doubt there are areas that have been altered, for example here on Calle Zamora we know that a lot of earth has been moved and it has all been changed, but since there used to be a necropolis perhaps this has been preserved.
“On Avenida Salamanca, the area next to the market and the site, there was an Iberian fort and other durable structures so it is unlikely that just laying tarmac or pipes would have damaged them.”
Another area next to the cemetery was also part of the Iberian fort, and ‘it will be interesting to see if this part is complete’, noted Sr Álvarez.
The director of the Museo del Mar (museum of the sea), María José Cerdá said an exhibition showing the results of this summer’s excavations at La Picola should be open by the end of this year or early 2019.
It will include the results of GPR surveys carried out last year as well as this.
“All this will give us enough information to plan next year’s archaeological excavations, but will also help scientific research, raise public awareness of the importance of preserving heritage, and provide data so that in the future politicians can respect our heritage and have all the scientific knowledge about it,” she added.
There will be a free guided tour of La Picola, including a dramatisation of Roman funeral rites tomorrow (Saturday, November 10) at 17.00. Places are limited and can be reserved by calling the museum on 96 541 62 23 between 10.00 and 13.00 or 16.00 and 19.00.
The GPR in action in Santa Pola this week