Iberian Sanctuary
© Town HallThe dig in Villajoyosa

Evidence of an ancient Iberian sanctuary dedicated to the Mother Goddess has been uncovered at a site in Villajoyosa. EFE reports that the project is sponsored by the French Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the local Town Hall.

Archaeological experts from the Town Hall and the universities of Alicante and Paris have been working at the dig at La Malladeta since 2005 and their findings are due to be presented in Madrid this summer. They have found clues hidden in the 190 archaeological strata they have investigated which suggest that the site was active as an Iberian sanctuary over the 4th-1st Centuries BC.

Items recovered include terracotta fragments of representations of the Mother Goddess, ceramics and pieces of glass, cooking utensils and oil lamps.

The experts believe the sanctuary was completely destroyed to make way for a complex of rooms which would have covered the top part of the hill where it stood. They say it was probably still used as a place of worship until 74 AD when Allón, which is now Villajoyosa, received its title as a city.