Remains of Villajoyosa's Iberian sanctuary now see the light of day

MALLADETA SITE: Experts working on the Iberaina sanctuary’s landward slopes Photo credit: Villajoyosa town hall

THE Iberian sanctuary above the Malladeta cove is one of Villajoyosa’s most important and largest archaeological sites.
The sanctuary itself is now occupied by a 19th century tower but the original, built in the Fourth Century BC to honour the Mother Goddess Tanit, was constructed to show the sun rising behind Benidorm Island at dawn on the March and September equinoxes.  At the summer solstice, the sun rises above the southernmost tip of the Morro de Toix, the outcrop that divides the bays of Altea and Calpe.
Earlier excavations located part of the sanctuary complex on the eastern, seaward slopes below the Malladeta tor but recent work has concentrated on the top of the hill and the western sections below.
These were originally excavated between 2005 and 2008 and covered for protection but all are now visible.
The worst-preserved zones have been consolidated with a layer of stones without reconstructing undocumented sections, said Villajoyosa’s Historic Heritage councillor Xente Sebastia, who explained that this can easily
be easily reversed.
Paving has also been reproduced in those parts of the complex where this was not preserved and the site has been enclosed with wooden fencing, enabling visitors to view the excavations.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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