Tuesday, November 24

The Consell agrees that the La Picola de Santa Pola deposit is BIC

La Picola deposit in the 2018 excavation. | JRE

The La Picola site in Santa Pola will be shielded from urban projects that affect the archaeological zone after the Consell has agreed to start the procedures to declare this local heritage as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC). This same week the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana reported the initiation of the file in order to protect, preserve, disseminate and investigate more about the site.

The City Council, through the Museum of the Sea, which acts as the managing entity of museums and municipal historical heritage, initiated the request to the Territorial Service for Research, Culture and Sports for registration as BIC, with the category of Archaeological Zone, of La Picola, at possessing an Iberian wall that articulates a fortification with unique characteristics in the Valencian heritage context.

In this way, the General Directorate of Culture and Heritage justifies its declaration and establishes its delimitation as well as protection rules, an issue that culminates in this beginning of the procedures to achieve the declaration.

The archaeological site is included in the Archaeological Charter of the Valencian Community and together with the Portus Illicitanus they are considered Assets of Local Relevance in the Santa Pola Protection Catalog.

Although at present the archaeological zone is at a distance of 577 meters from the sea, in ancient times the archaeological area was on the coastline, as excavations and surveys have shown, for this reason the fishing village was known in Roman times as Portus Ilicitanus, as the port of the important Roman colony of Ilici, archaeologically located in La Alcudia de Elche, according to the City Council.

This procedure that exists prior to the declaration of BIC supposes that the granting of municipal licenses for subdivision, urbanization, construction, demolition, activity and other acts of construction and land use that affect the archaeological zone and its protective environment is suspended, as well as such actions when they are carried out directly by local entities, according to the Valencian cultural heritage law.

However, the General Directorate of Culture and Heritage could authorize the actions described above as long as they do not harm the values ​​of the property that it is trying to protect, “as well as the works that due to force majeure or general interest should be carried out without delay”, it indicates the resolution.


Among the main immovable remains exhumed to date is a wall with towers from the Iberian era and a salting factory from Roman times, taking into account that thanks to the abundance of fishing and the nearby salt flats of the time these factories were created that produced this particular product as well as the garum sauce.

The local executive, of the PP, understands that the beginning of the procedures suppose a stimulus and commitment in the study, protection and conservation of the local archaeological heritage and therefore they appreciate the work of experts who have put together a file with reports that endorse the importance of this site. Among them are municipal technicians and disseminators such as professor Jaime Molina, from the University of Alicante, at the head of a team made up of doctors in History Juan Francisco Álvarez Tortosa and Daniel Mateo Corredor.

The municipal group of Compromís celebrated this step yesterday after the documentation began in the previous mandate and they highlighted that with the BIC the local administration will have greater obligations “in terms of maintenance and conservation of the deposit, risking financial fines if their present state of abandonment is not put to an end. ‘ For this reason, they understand that it will be essential that the case has come to have a periodic cleaning and repair the perimeter fence as soon as possible.

El Portus will again be a gateway to tourism shortly

The Portus Ilicitanus site could be opened in the coming weeks after the enhancement and musealization work in the area has been completed, which is being undertaken in collaboration between the Museum of the Sea, the Generalitat Valenciana and the European Union, which Through the funds Feder has co-financed some works that were altered by the covid-19 pandemic.In addition, experts from the UA are being key to the research, conservation and dissemination of the archaeological heritage that hopes to become a great tourist resource.

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