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javeamigos.com | VIRGEN DEL CARMEN

Thursday 14th March 2013

javeamigos.com | JAVEA: CAVE

The Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) has announced details of an exhibition which highlights the important archaeological discoveries uncovered during excavations in the Cova del Barranc del Migdia between 2009 and 2012. The cave, which sits some 375 metres above sea level in the steep southern cliffs of the Montgó Massif and was only 're-discovered' in 1989, has revealed evidence of funerary ceremonies dating back to the third millennium B.C.E. as well as some of the finest rock art to be found. And this week a new exhibition entitled 'Art i Mort al Montgó, La Cova del Barranc del Migdia de Xàbia' was launched by Luisa Pastor, president of the Diputación de Alicante along with mayor José Chulvi, an event that was also attended by Provincial Culture Secretary Juan Bautista Roselló, MARQ technical director Manuel Olcina as well as curators Jorge A. Soler, Joaquim Bolufer and Marco Aurelio Esquembre. The exhibition will be open until next April.

The display is the result of a collaboration between MARQ and Jávea's own Museu Arqueològic i Etnogràfic Municipal "Soler Blasco" - the municipal museum located in the centre of the old town - and consists of various panels that explain the features of the cave, the remains that have been found, its historical context in helping to discover more about human settlement in the region as well as the whole process of excavation and subsequent cataloguing and analysis of the discoveries. The exhibition also includes some of the finds themselves as well as a virtual reality experience which will allow visitors to experience the cave which would otherwise be almost impossible due to its difficult position high up in the steep cliffs.

Luisa Pastor said that MARQ has taken a step forward in its commitment to preserve, promote and add value to the historical heritage that can be found in Alicante province. José Chulvi added that the cave and its discoveries are vitally important for Jávea and the Marina Alta region as a whole and the excavations over the past few years can be considered as one of the greatest archaeological initiatives which have discovered human remains and materials used by the first human settlers in the environment of Montgó. He said that it had always been the objective to showcase the cave to the people of Jávea (which was achieved back in the late summer of 2012; click here for read more about it) but it was also hoped to expand knowledge of the discoveries to a wide audience, hence the new exhibition in Alicante.

The cave was 're-discovered' by members of a caving club from Gata de Gorgos who stumbled across an opening high up in the cliffs during training in early 1989. When they entered the cave, they found primitive painting on the rock surface and knew that they had come across an important new archaeological site. Subsequent excavations work recovered a number of artefacts which dated the use of the cave back some 5,000 years to the latter stages of the Neolithic period. Between 2009 and 2012, there have been four extensive digs, all sponsored by the Fundación CIRNE de Xàbia which have uncovered further information about the cave's use.

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