History up close

PROGRESS: Dig director Martin Civantos explained the team’s latest discoveries and the insight they give into the history and importance of the settlement. CREDIT: Mojacar Council

IT was history up close for the Andalucia Development, Culture and Heritage territorial delegate when she visited the site of the old Mojacar settlement. 
Eloisa Cabrera was able to see in person how the second phase of the dig on the site of Mojacar la Vieja’ being carried out by archaeologists from Memolab, a biocultural archaeology laboratory based at Granada University, was progressing and to chat to excavation director Jose Maria Martin Civantos and local historian Juan Grima. 
Also accompanying the regional minister on last week’s visit were Mojacar Mayor Rosa Maria Cano and Tourism councillor Emmanuel Agüero. 
Martin Civantos explained the team’s latest discoveries and how the new excavations were contributing to piecing together the importance of the settlement in the 12th and 13th centuries, until the population abandoned it in favour of a new location corresponding to today’s Mojacar Pueblo. 
The dig director revealed the latest works confirmed the theories developed by archeologists during the first phase of excavations on the reasons behind the move from what would have been a sizeable settlement with well-organised defences. 
In part it would have been down to the threat from the Christian re-conquest of the region and the lack of a full view of the coast and possible attacks from the sea, Martin Civantos said. Another factor which recent works have shown up was geological weaknesses creating problems in the soundness of constructions. 
He also commented on what would have been the importance of Mojacar la Vieja: it had a solid wall with 14 towers and a double fortification, the second part of which on the highest area was used for defence purposes. 
The delegate commented on how impressed she was by the second excavation campaign’s finding to date, which is promoted by Mojacar Council, and the potential of the sight due to its good state of conservation. It is believed it could be key to understanding an important phase in the region’s history, revealing and making sense of the area’s culture and customs, as well as the shape and form of the land. 
Cabrera said she will be interested to see future plans for the site, with views to a possible collaboration through her department and the Junta de Andalucia 
Memolab is accredited with some excellent work on the excavations, along with its research and dissemination of information, which has been boosted by the cooperation and interest of Mojacar residents.  
Mojácar la Vieja is a project of significant cultural and touristic interest, which is gathering importance on international forums. 

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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