The studies to determine the exact state of conservation of the Phoenician wreck ‘Mazarrón II’, located on the beach of Isla de Mazarrón (Murcia), and the best way to extract it from the sea to proceed to its restoration will start at the beginning of 2023, according to the answer of the central Government to a question asked by the PP deputy Isabel Borrego.
In its reply, the central government explained that these works, which are part of the second phase of the project, were to be carried out last September, “although the regional government, the owner of the wreck, has finally delayed their start for the beginning of 2023 for reasons of administrative processing”, it adds.
It also recalls that once the information from the preliminary studies has been processed and extracted, an extraction plan will be defined and the third phase of the project will begin, the execution of which, according to the forecasts of the national government, will take place throughout 2023.
Subsequently, a new, more extensive phase will begin, dedicated to the treatment of the wreck in the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (ARQVA) in Cartagena, where the ‘Mazarrón I’ wreck is located, in order to guarantee the conservation of the ship in the best possible conditions.
It should be remembered that the ‘Mazarrón II’ was located in 1995 on the beach of La Isla, in the Murcian municipality of Mazarrón, preserved almost complete with its cargo and dated to the second half of the 7th century BC.
At that time, and given the impossibility of documenting and studying it, as work was being carried out to extract the remains of ‘Mazarrón I’, it was decided to rebury it with sediment and protect it with a metal structure designed for that purpose.
Between October 1999 and January 2001, the wreck was extracted and its cargo documented, for the first time and in an exceptional way, the maritime way of metal exploitation that the Phoenicians practised in the Iberian Peninsula, which was only known in classical texts.
Today, the wreck is protected by the “safe” built expressly for it, while the objects from its cargo were extracted and are kept in the ARQVA.
Last May, a meeting was held, promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Autonomous Community, with the participation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in which experiences were shared with different specialists on the best method for extraction and conservation.
At that meeting it was decided that the wreck should be removed and transferred to the ARQVA facilities, where it will be treated for stabilisation. The transfer is based on the expiry of the current protection system, which has deteriorated due to the increase in storms in the area.