The latest excavations by the Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) at the site of the Argaric ‘Hillside Castle’ in Callosa del Segura, has exposed three graves inside a family home.
They are of a child under two years old, buried inside an earthenware sontainer, an adult male and a child of about 6 or 7 years of age, next to which they also discovered two important ivory buttons.
Burials inside houses was a common practice by this ancient civilization that lived in the south of the province of Alicante over 4000 years ago.
The discoveries were made last month during the work of the third excavation campaign authorized by the Provincial Council of Alicante and carried out by staff from the museum.
The residents of Algar were a Bronze Age settlement that occupied the southeastern area of the Iberian Peninsula between the years 2100 and 1500 BC. The site of ‘Las Laderas del Castillo’ (the Slopes Castle), was first explored in the early twentieth century by Jesuit Julio Furgús and later by the Catalan archaeologist Josep Colominas.
The site is one of the most important Bronze Age settlements found on the Iberian Peninsula covering twenty hectares with over a thousand residents.
Meanwhile a Little further up the coast in Calpe, excavations carried out in Pobla d’Ifach has unearthed a document confirming the ‘right to fire’ in their homes in the fourteenth century. The ‘fogatge’ was a hearth tax, one of the oldest taxes known, which was imposed on settlements by the landowners, in this case to 100 families, which implies that the settlement would have about 400 inhabitants.
The team of archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) have so far discovered 50 tombs in which the have made many new ‘finds’. including many bodies of children, their bones showing signs of premature disease which suggests they were suffering from poor nutrition.
Archaeologists have speculated that the settlement came north, perhaps from Lleida, looking for a better life.
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