Historic relics excavated in Spanish reserve

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It’s been a busy time for 25 volunteers from all over Spain, who have been collaborating in an archaeological dig around Las Lagunas de la Mata and Torrevieja. Last week Torrevieja’s Mayor, Eduardo Dolon accompanied by Belen Hoyo, Director General of the Institute of Youth and Valenciano de la Juventud (IVAJ) held an on site, working meeting to assess progress in joint projects happening in Torrevieja. 

The activities are being carried out by volunteers in the Natural Park of La Mata and Torrevieja [Credit: Leader]

The meeting was also attended by the Councillor for Youth, Rosario Martínez Chazarra, Councillor for the Environment, Francisco Moreno and Work Camp Coordinator Luis Manuel Chulia. 

The archaeological excavation was developed under the direction of Archaeologist Jesus Moratalla and ended on Monday August 15. It included the restoration of historic salt industry infrastructures, particularly in the ‘firehouse’, an old checkpoint in the Salinas, whose origin dates back to the nineteenth century. Both the Director General and the mayor agreed that the IVAJ coordinated programs offer many benefits for Torrevieja’s youth and the visiting volunteers. 

Belen Hoyo said that “the camp has representation from twelve autonomous, communities and the 25 young volunteers come from Andalucía, Asturias, Catalonia, Madrid, Comunidad Valenciana, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura, Galicia, Navarra,  La Rioja, Murcia and the Basque Country ” and that they appreciated the collaboration of the City of Torrevieja as well as the monitors and archaeologists. 

Councillor for Youth, Rosario Martínez Chazarra noted the importance of Youth Activities in Torrevieja and said “we are putting a lot of effort into our schemes to gain as many advantages for the youth population in Torrevieja, totalling more than 18,600 boys and girls, as possible. They can benefit both from the advantages of the Carnet Jove Card and youth programs, from language courses to leisure activities and services.” 

The activities carried out by volunteers in the Natural Park of La Mata and Torrevieja, began on 1 August and consisted of first clearing, cleaning and conditioning the ground for archaeological excavation and restoration of the historic Firehouse. The field work was undertaken within the project Torrevieja called “discovering the origins of a people.” 

This initiative also included training activities relating to the salt industry, through talks and visits to the Salinas to see the extraction process for themselves, plus classes on the importance of salt throughout history, trade, transport and routes through the Natural Park plus astronomy activities in the park, which has very little light pollution, and on the beach. 

Torrevieja is just one of nine initiatives taking place around the Valencian Community this summer and it’s thought of as one of the most important archaeological cities in the region, as archaeological finds, many from Roman times, are discovered regularly in the city. 

Author: Keith Nicol | Source: Leader [August 14, 2011]

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