MemoLab, the biocultural archaeology laboratory of the University of Granada and in charge of the Mojácar La Vieja recovery project, presented the findings of the 2021 excavation campaign to the residents of Mojácar. Despite the fact that this was initially a consolidation and protection work of the discoveries made in previous campaigns and the short duration, ten days, available for this year, the thirty archaeologists who have worked in Mojácar la Vieja, have made, in addition to this consolidation, new and interesting discoveries that reinforce, support and shed new light on the research carried out so far. In attendance were the Mayoress of Mojácar, Rosa María Cano, members of her Government Team and a large audience who, as in all events related to Mojácar la Vieja, did not want to miss the new developments that take place every year and which are of great interest to all the local residents. Emmanuel Agüero, Councillor for Tourism, the area that is promoting this project, opened the presentation by highlighting the excellent work and making the most of this campaign, emphasising the importance of this project as a tourist attraction, within the cultural sphere for Mojácar and which comes in addition to other initiatives such as family tourism, sports and active tourism.
Mojácar Town Council will carry out a four-year General Research Plan to formalise the archaeological work and the definitive enhancement of the importance of Mojácar la Vieja, which could lead to recognition, aid and various subsidies from the institutions involved. José María Civantos, Director of Memolab, also wished to thank Mojácar Town Council and the Valparaíso Foundation as the project’s sponsors, as well as the participation and interest of all the residents of Mojácar and the collaboration and support received by all the archaeologists who have collaborated in this and all the campaigns carried out to date, The positive impact on the municipality, the region and the province, with great repercussions in the media and at an institutional level, such as the visit of the Deputy Minister and the Delegate of Culture, who were pleasantly surprised by the great heritage potential of Mojácar la Vieja. Hunting remains have been found there, mainly rabbits and birds. Part of the wall that protected the site has also been excavated.
Once inside the enclosure, several dwellings have been uncovered, some with important remains such as a chimney and kitchen area, which are very well preserved. Although affected by the landslide of the hillside, the reason why they abandoned the ancient city, it is possible to recognise several dwellings, some decorative elements of the windows, such as double arches, with the rose of life as a repetitive motif in the elements found so far. The Rose of Life is already the symbol of Mojácar la Vieja. As a general summary, the theory of the great importance of Mojácar la Vieja and its great power is consolidated, as the solidly built wall extended over the entire hillside with possibly more than fourteen towers.
The study of the botanical and faunal remains has yielded interesting conclusions. It has also been possible to identify the remains of large tuna spines, indicating a well-organised fishing structure. In terms of biological remains, there is a clear difference between the fortified enclosure above and the dwellings below. At the same time, with this virtual work, the aim is to carry out a dissemination and popularisation campaign, generating replicas that people can see and consult from their homes and obtain the information that is being generated so that it can be understood through a web page.
This campaign has also been used, by means of geographic information systems and GPS, to take all the elements that show traces of the route of the wall and the towers, in general of the entire fortified enclosure, which delimited the inhabited space. Fourteen towers have been located, although more will almost certainly appear, which shows a considerable enclosure in its extension and fortification. Many hours of study and analysis remain in the laboratory to give shape and meaning to what has already been obtained and, on the basis of the data already confirmed, to prepare the lines of action for the following campaigns, which all the local residents are eagerly awaiting.