Tuesday 4th October 2022 · Mike Smith
Source: Ajuntament de Xàbia
The Soler Blasco Municipal Museum in Xàbia and the University of Alicante is to begin the first set of archaeological excavations on the island of Portitxol as part of the four-year General Research Plan which was approved by the regional government’s Ministry of Culture.
The project is being funded by the town hall in Xàbia in collaboration with the Fundación CIRNE and the Pons family which owns the island, a rich archaeological site with documented occupation from the end of pre-history to the 19th/20th centuries. However, it was during the 4th and 5th centuries, a time of great commercial activity in the area, that it was occupied extensively, as evidenced by the numerous anchors discovered on the seabed around the island, as well as the rare discovery of gold coins made last summer.
All this archaeological wealth meant that the protection process for the island began in 1980 and it was declared a BIC (Asset of Cultural Interest) in 2018, although administrative problems meant that the file was re-opened in 2022.
The latest excavations will be carried out during October and November and will consist of intensive archaeological trials across the entire surface of the island as well as four archaeological surveys in places where there seem to be ancient structures, located on the highest and flattest part of the island. At the same time, some underwater investigation will take place to clarify and recover some of the archaeological materials discovered in previous dives around the island.