Picture of the Week

28 October 2021

Week 41: Villajoyosa, Etruscos, Iberian archeology

Filed under: — Administrator @ 05:17

Another week of cycling and working. But something different too: visits to two separate exhibitions related to life here on the Mediterranean coast 2500-3000 years ago.

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I start with a bike ride up the coast to Villajoyosa. It is autumn of a Covid year, so not many tourists despite the beautiful weather. And I was there early in the morning. Still there were a few early birds on the promenade and on the beach:
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I went for a walk in the narrow streets near the beach. One of them was heavily guarded by local cats:
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In the afternoon, Monica and I went to the local archeological museum MARQ to see an exhibition called “Etruscos”. The Etruscans predate the Roman civilisation and built an advanced society in the region around today’s Rome 3000 years ago. They did not travel to Iberia but there was considerable trade across the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians, the primary seafaring people of the time. The exhibition at MARQ is a fantastic selection of objects, some found in this area, many lent by museums in Italy. It is truly amazing to see such objects made 3000 years ago, when my ancestors in Northern Europe were hunting animals with stone tools:
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Cover of a burial urn:
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Reliefs depicting various scenes of Etruscan life:
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The Etruscans were good with metal too:
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Recreation of an Etruscan dinner:
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What really blew me away was this statuette and the one in the next image. Giacometti and Picasso, versions from 2500 years ago:
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At this time of the year, with daylight savings time still in effect until the end of October, I get to see the sunrise during my daily pre-work bike rides. Here, in El Campello harbour:
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The guard tower (to guard against the pirates) from the 16th century:
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Early morning light can make everything look beautiful, even garbage containers on my street:
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My mother’s cactus has now been with us for 20 years since her death, and it continues to give us joy:
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Some wildlife seen from the gate of my house:
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One afternoon I stopped by the beach Playa San Juan. Dogs and children were being walked:
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A treasure hunter looks for coins dropped by beach goers during the day:
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On Saturday morning, out on my bike ride, I passed some other guys having fun on two wheels, near the village of Verdegás:
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I finish the week at the harbour of El Campello. The guard tower is decorated for the Moros y Cristianos festival:
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A rocky small peninsula juts out from the coast above the harbour. There is a small park with statues like this one, with no indication of the artist and the time of erection of the statue:
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There are also many cats living there:
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However, the main feature is an archeological site, managed by the same MARQ museum where the Etruscans exhibition is running. On this site, a village dating to pre-Roman times, has been excavated. The work is still ongoing, but it is possible to visit and marvel over a civilisation that existed here 2500 years ago:
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There are good explanation panels around the site. This was the grain storage area:
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A wine production facility. While many wine producing areas around Europe are the work of the Romans, here on the Iberian peninsula winemaking predates them:
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The village was organised, with defined streets:
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And thus ended my week, during which I connected with people living thousands of years ago on opposing shores of Mare Nostrum.

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