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Excavation

  • Tossal de Manises, Foro y sudeste interior
  • Alicante
  • Lucentum
  • Spain
  • Valencia
  • Alicante
  • Alicante

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Credits

  • Fasti Spain is the result of a collaboration between:

    the Universidad de Salamanca (LAT, Lab. Arqueología y Territorio - Departamento de Prehistoria, Historia Antigua y Arqueología) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica)

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Summary (English)

  • The excavated area is surrounded by the excavations of F. Figueras Pacheco in the 1930s to the south, the excavations of 2000 to the east and the wall that delimited the municipal forum to the north. Due to previous interventions, the field formed a broad tongue that needed priority action for two reasons. In the first place, it left the perimeter urban spaces of the whole southeast area of the old city disconnected, complicating its comprehensionfrom the point of view of archaeological investigation and for the visitors to the site. In the second place, not excavating this area might have compromise future actions, turning it into an island surrounded by excavated structures, which would complicate the set-aside.

    The most remarkable provisional results obtained from this campaign were the following:

    1.- Localization and excavation of 70 burials from the great Islamic cemetery established over the abandoned Roman city. The typology of the tombs and its chronological assessment is the same as the one from previous campaigns. However, it should be noted that almost every burial presents a sloped flagstone covering, unlike those of 2000 or the 1930s, in which a cover was unusual. We believe this difference is due to the localization of the burial within this campaign, less exposed to the superficial plowing that would have produced the disappearance or displacement of the flagstones.

    2.- Documentation of the urban features from the Roman phase of the excavated sector. There is a great insula, delimited by Umbrales Street, Popilio Street and Necropolis Street, in which several rooms have been individualized, some of them with rammed earth walls. Necropolis Street and the southeast wall of the forum delimit the other insula. The most remarkable thing about this block is the presence of two different buildings, both of them preserved at foundation level, which are attached to the forum at the end of the first century A.D. Their construction technique and their position regarding the public space suggest that such buildings had a public nature.

    The information provided so far indicates that the planning and occupation of part of the delimited space by Umbrales Street and Necropolis Street took place in the Augustan period, or the second half of the first century BC???,. In a still unclear time of the first century AD, Necropolis Street was renovated, becoming wider and constructing new buildings that change the physiognomy of the original insulae. As already noted in other areas, there is a lack of building activity and an expansion of robber trenches in the second century A.D.

    3.- Documentation from the pre-Roman city with very interesting results. Part of the buildings that appeared in the previous campaign that extend under the Roman streets revealing the strong urban change from both periods are still being documented. In the first strata from Umbrales Street, a level of destruction with abundant ceramic material was identified. However, the most highlighted finding is a third Punic-type cistern, with a quadrangular base and 3 m in depth. It preserved a water channel collection identical to the one from the cistern appended to tower VIII from the first period of the wall. This ceramic channel definitely proves the water supply sophisticated system, a totally unknown procedure in Iberian environments that demonstrates the noticeable Punic influence from this period in Tossal de Manises. The cistern suddenly clogged and an abundant amount of amphorae material appeared in its fill. This clog is related to a fire that occurred in the late third or early second century B.C., as can be deduced from the amphorae and the A-Campanian fragments. The sudden collapse of basic constructions such as those for water storage reinforces the idea, detected in other parts of the site, of a violent crisis at the end of the Full Iberian Period.

    Concerning the archaeological excavation carried out in the central area, where we assume the Roman’s forum square was located, it is important to mention its high degree of spoliation. Most of the constructive elements were robbed after the Roman period, as it was already noted in the previous campaign, focused on the eastern side. The most important find is the one relating to a great room in the southeastern part of the hypothetical area of the forum. This room, of 50 m2 and 4 m in depth, was decorated with mural paintings of geometric ornamentation and a low bench at the foot of the wall. It had a concrete pavement ofwhich half is preserved. At the moment, it is difficult to intepret its function and relationship to the adjacent architectural ensembles.

    To conclude, we have developed some projects in order to avoid damage exposure to weather and to ensure that the site can be visited and presented as evidence of the past. In the first place, we consolidated the architectural remains exhumed. We also put into service and incorporated for the visiting public one of the previously excavated Roman streets, Umbrales Street. Additionally, we have recovered some of the flagstone covers from Islamic burials in order to integrate the Muslim necropolis within the landscape of the site, as a key element for the understanding of its history.

    (translation by Sandra Herrero Perucha)

  • Manuel Olcina Domènech y Rafael Pérez Jiménez 

Director

  • Manuel Olcina Domènech y Rafael Pérez Jiménez (Colegio Oficial de Doctores y Licenciados en Filosofía y Letras y en Ciencias de Alicante - Sección de Arqueología)

Team

Research Body

  • Colegio Oficial de Doctores y Licenciados en Filosofía y Letras y en Ciencias de Alicante - Sección de Arqueología

Funding Body

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