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Illeta - ruins from the Bronze Age

At the coastal town of Campello, 13 km north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca, lies Illeta dels Banyets, a small peninsula with ruins from nearly three thousand years before Christ.

This archaeological excavation site is fenced off and is only open to the public a few hours a day. Here are traces of Iberian, Roman and Muslim settlement.

The island of Illeta was once created by an earthquake. It was an island until 1944 when an artificial land connection was made. Now it is an open-air museum for Alicante's best-known and best-preserved ancient ruins.

The picture above shows the bottom of a burial ground where skeletal remains from the Bronze Age of a man and a woman of high social rank were found.

The foundation and walls that have been reconstructed show that there have been settlements here for close to five thousand years.

Those who have lived here have produced and preserved various foodstuffs such as fish, olive oil and herbs.

There have been two temples. The picture below shows temple B. The door on the front has been constructed so that the sun illuminated the sacrificial stone on 21 December each year.

On the outside of the peninsula there are remains of what is assumed to have been fish farming two thousand years ago. Channels and basins have been carved into the mountain, which has made it possible to lock the fish inside. In Spain, such farming is only documented in the Alicante area.

In the fourth century before Christ, the settlement was turned into a small "city" with two parallel streets in the island's longitudinal direction and a number of cross streets in between.

It was probably an important trading center where they received goods from other parts of the Mediterranean, while also selling their own products such as oil, fish and wine.

The area covered with a roof shows what used to be an oil press where oil was extracted from olives.

On the inside of the peninsula there are ruins of two cisterns for storing a total of 50 thousand liters of water.

On the outside of the area there are remains of military installations.

The protected watchtower dates from the second half of the sixteenth century. It was used to warn the population of attacks by pirates.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Illeta dels Banyets at el Campello near Alicante on the Costa Blanca

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 14.00 and 15.30 - 17.30. Price: 2 Euro per person.

Suitable for: Everyone, including disabled people.

Getting there: Illeta is located at the northern end of the coastal town of El Campello, 13 kilometers north of Alicante.Search for Illeta dels Banyets on Google Maps.

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