Warrior on loan

WARRIOR’S STONE: Carefully does it!

The Warrior’s Monument, probably Altea’s most important treasure, has been lent to Alicante’s Archaeological Museum (MARQ).

The metre-high, sixth century BC stone column, or ‘estela,’which depicts an armed Iberian warrior, was discovered in Altea la Vieja in 1972.  It will be a principal feature at the ‘Immortality of the Warrior’ exhibition that opens at the MARQ on October 5, and runs until January 9.

The column in its glass showcase is normally on display at Altea’s public library, and Culture councillor Diego Zaragozi explained that it will be thoroughly examined by MARQ experts.  They can then advise the Altea authorities on how best to preserve the ‘estela.’

It was excavated during a dig at the Iberian burial ground in Altea la Vieja, which is now officially listed and protected as an Asset of Local Relevance. Lying between the centre of what was once no more than a village and its cemetery, the necropolis was discovered in the early 20th century by a local investigator Francesc Martinez i Martinez. 

When excavated at the burial ground in 1972, the monument, which was in two pieces, was flanked on each side by 12 urns bearing grave gifts of bronze and glazed ceramic.  

“Being able to lend the ‘estela’ is a privilege,” Zaragozi said as the column was carefully packed for its journey to Alicante City.”

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