ARCHAEOLOGISTS discovered a metre-long amphora during their excavations at El Tossal in La Cala.
The building was once a fort, probably of key importance during the civil war between Quintus Sertorius, based in Spain, and the Roman government.
The find – of great historic and archaeological relevance, according to the archaeologists – came as a surprise, sources linked to the dig revealed.
It appeared at the western side of the site where there have been fewer excavations until now. Identified as a ceremonial amphora, it is intact and was probably placed in the wall for luck, as an offering to the gods when the fort’s foundations were laid, the experts said.
Benidorm’s mayor Toni Perez and the Historic Heritage councillor Ana Pellicer were present as it was carefully extracted from its 2,000-year hiding place.
It has now been transferred to Alicante University, where experts will examine its contents, which are likely to have been wine or the garum fish sauce so popular with the Romans.
Jesus Moratalla, co-director of site together with the archaeologist Feliciana Sala, explained that although the amphora has not yet been exhaustively analysed, it appears to have been produced in a Cadiz pottery in the First Century BC.
Like this summer’s excavations at the Castillo between Benidorm’s Levante and Poniente beaches, the El Tossal excavations are partly financed by Brussels, in a programme that protects and recovers the Valencian Community’s cultural heritage.
“This project will give prominence to our past, weaving together the history of Benidorm,” the mayor said.