Exploring the Costa Blanca’s Roman past

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EL TOSSAL: Once a small Roman fort. Photo credit: Benidorm town hall

Benidorm’s Roman fort on the Tossal hill in the Costa Blanca resort’s La Cala area will eventually become an open-air museum. This will involve reconstructing the fort’s principal roadway to make the site accessible to visitors, explained Heritage councillor Ana Pellicer. Plans will be supervised by the archaeologists from Alicante University and submitted to the regional government’s Culture and Heritage Directorate for approval. Excavations at the site of the fort, which dates from the First Century BC are included in the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) programme to recover the Valencian Community’s cultural heritage, Pellicer explained. Turning the site into an open-air museum will depend largely on the archaeologists’ find, she said.

“We hope that we shall be able to show the public how the Castellum functioned, its architecture and share the information that has emerged from successive digs,” Pellicer added. The €156,000 project entails reconstructing the principal roadway giving access to the site, identifying its different areas with explanatory panels and installing and information office and public toilets. As well the remains of the small fort, excavations at the Castellum have revealed pottery shards, a fragment from a knife and–the most important find so far–a metre-long ceremonial amphora found in the base of a wall and which experts believe would have been filled with an offering to the gods while laying the foundations.

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