Historical find at sea

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HIDDEN SECRETS: Denia’s coast hides many underwater treasures.

A SUSPICIOUS spherical object fished out of the sea just off Les Albaranes beach in Denia last week by two off-duty National Police officers turned out not to be a bomb at all, but a cannon ball believed to date back to the 18th century.

The officers found the round, rusty treasure on the sea bed about 50 metres out to sea on Wednesday July 27 and thinking it was probably some sort of explosive artifact from the Spanish Civil War fished it out of the water and called in TEDAX explosive teams to deal with it.

However after studying the suspicious object, experts agreed it was actually a cannon ball, probably from one of the eight armed ships which are known to have sunk off the coasts of Denia in the period between the Succession War (1707) and the War of Independence (1812).

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Municipal archaeologist Josep Antoni Gisbert said that it is vital that finds of this type are reported to the Valencian Underwater Archaeology department but left where they are spotted and complained that the area is losing many of its historical treasures as removing them and blowing them up is often seen as the easiest solution rather than the last resort it really should be.

Denia’s coasts are in fact so rich in history and heritage that Asuncion Fernandez, the director of the aforementioned department, and archaeologist Carles Monfort are due to give a talk, The Armed Sea, as part of next month’s Denia At War conference cycle.

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