LA OLLA: Rich finds on the seabed. Photo credit: Altea town hall

ALTEA’S Environment department is carrying out archaeological excavations off La Olla beach.
Environment councillor Jose Orozco and Pedro Jaime Zaragozi, co-director of the explorations and responsible for studying the finds, together with technical director Omar Inglese, presented their new finds recently.
The underwater project has enabled the team to measure the site and recover 65 items that would otherwise have been prey to plunderers.
“These can now be studied and catalogued before they are sent to the Alicante Archaeological Museum (Marq),” Zaragozi explained.
The finds include amphorae from the 2nd and 5th century AD, as well as modern and contemporary bowls and cups, he added.
Mr Orozco said was extremely satisfied with the work carried out so far.
He said: “More than 25 years after the first studies at the site in the context of the town hall’s commitment to safeguarding Altea’s marine environment, we want to add protection for La Olla and this underwater site.”
Old navigation charts all point to the importance of Altea’s Bay as a principal location where ships could take on good drinking water from the River Algar.
Meanwhile, the small island off La Olla, La Isleta, provided sailing ships with a safe mooring and shelter from the Levante and Tramontana winds.
This in turn provided a perfect setting for the trading practised in the Bay from Iberian times until the early 20th century, and studying the submerged archaeological site can now give them an insight into commerce in the northern Marina Alta, the investigators said.

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Shirin Aguiar