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  • The UA confirms the existence of a fort ..ars at the Tossal de la Cala of Benidorm

The UA confirms the existence of a fort dating back to the Roman civil wars at the Tossal de la Cala of Benidorm

The findings of the research group changes the interpretation of the Roman conquest of the Alicante territories

 

Photo courtesy of Feliciana Sala. Detail of the excavation developed at El Tossal de la Cala (Benidorm) these days of July 2013.

Alicante, 10th July  2013

The excavations in El Tossal de la Cala of Benidorm, which is being developed within the framework of the cooperation agreement recently signed between the city hall of Benidorm and the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Alicante, begins to bear fruit. The field work is included in the R&D Research Project HAR2012-32754, funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, led by Feliciana Sala Sellés, professor of Archaeology at the University of Alicante.

After reviewing the documentation of ancient excavations by Father Belda in 1943, by Tarradell in 1956 and by Francisco Garcia Hernández in 1984, the members of the research group at the UA raised this campaign, with the aim of discovering the wall described by Father Belda on the report of his excavations.

The discovery of the wall, on the second day of the campaign, confirms what Father Belda and F. García said in the past. The wall, with only one metre thick, very effectively closed the premises following the route at 85 level. So, it is an approximately half-hectare small fortified enclave atop of El Tossal de la Cala.

The wall, a few buildings that follow a repetitive pattern and the clear physical evidence of the presence of Roman soldiers certainly confirm that El Tossal de la Cala was a fort or castle built by General Sertorio within a fortification plan covering the the north coast of Alicante, probably around the year 77 BC. The research group led by Feliciana Sala works with the hypothesis that the Iberians of the region lived in the enclave integrated into the Roman army as auxiliary troops. This fortification plan also included the hills of Cap de Negret (Altea), Peñón d'Ifach (Calpe) and Punta de la Torre (Moraira). The control of the sailing ships of the Roman Senate which exceeded the Cabo de la Nao was assured. These findings change the interpretation of the Roman conquest of the Alicante territories, the Director of the group say.

Although on a smaller scale, Salas says it is comparable to the network of Renaissance towers that lined the coast of Alicante for vigilance against Berber raids between the 16th and 18th centuries.

During the latest scientific meeting on the traces of the Roman civil wars in Southeast Hispania in November 2012 at the UA and the MARQ, the research project led by Feliciana Sala Sellés, professor of Archaeology at the University of Alicante, already pointed out that the Roman civil wars had a significant effect among the Iberians of Contestania, causing population transfers, but also resulted in pacts and alliances with Sertorius, Roman politician and soldier of the end of the period of the Roman Republic (1st century BC). According to these agreements, the Iberian population would had supplied goods for fueling the military contingents and provided auxiliary troops.

 

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