Digging deep for excavation funding in Mojacar

MOJACAR Council has upped financing for excavations on ‘Mojacar la Vieja’ and is seeking further funding from the Andalucia regional government and the private sector.

Speaking at the official presentation of the plans for the second phase of the dig on the site of the ancient Mojacar settlement, Tourism Councillor Emmanuel Agüero said the local authority has increased its financial input in the project in order to involve a larger number of archaeologists and has applied for funding for 2020 from the Junta de Andalucía.

Agüero also revealed the council is approaching private companies for support to enable historical and cultural investigations to continue.

The councillor underlined the level of interest among local residents in last year´s excavation in both archaeological and cultural terms, describing the project as of great importance for the whole province.

The dig is led by Granada University’s Biocultural Archaeology Laboratory, MemoLab. Mojacar Council and the Valpariso Foundation are collaborating on the project.

MemoLab’s Director of Archaeology Jose Maria Civantos gave an overview of the plans for July. He explained there will be a continuation of 2018’s work in the wall area and upper zone where the main water deposit, military structure, small hermitage and other quarters are located.

The archaeologist drew particular attention to the task of excavating a house discovered last year. It is in a good state of conservation he said, and its restoration may well offer a better understanding of life in Mojacar in the past. A further priority is to finish the dig on the military guard structure and its old entry, with the expectation this could lead to further information on forms of defence.

Lara Delgado, also from MemoLab, outlined details of the free cultural programme tying in with the excavation project. It will feature workshops for children as well as classes on esparto grass crafts, traditional costumes and even how to carry the old water jugs on the head.

Members of the public can learn how to be an archaeologist for the day and take part in guided visits of the dig. Also on offer are archaeological pottery workshops and a map-making session relating to Mojacar’s ancient irrigation system.

As an indication of the interest generated by the Mojacar La Vieja project, 362 archaeologists of 24 different national nationalities applied to take part in the second phase of the excavations. The final selection is made up of 40 archaeologists from Italy, Portugal, France, Armenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Mexico.