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Archaeological excavations of the ancient settlement of Lucentum (Tossal de Manises)

Those who want to know the origins of the Spanish city of Alicante should also visit one of the sights of Alicante – Lucentum (Lucentum). This archaeological site of an ancient Roman. This place is located on the top of the hill El de Tossal at a height of 38 meters and 3.5 km from the centre of Alicante. The ancient city covers a huge area, component 7. But the excavations produced only on the territory of 2.5 hectares.

In this place approximately in 215 BC, there was a city of ACRA Leuca. And the artifacts that are here today, show that the architecture in those years was exposed to Carthaginian influence. Having existed before the 2nd century BC this city as a result of one of the Punic wars was captured by the Romans led by Publius Cornelia stsipionom. They rebuilt it and named Lucentum, which means in translation “the city of bright lights”. At the turn of the eras, the city reached the peak of its prosperity. But in 2-3 century ad it was abandoned because it could not compete with the nearby city of Ilici, referred to today as Elche. And then it was used as a cemetery for Muslims (5-6 century ad).

For the first time about the location of the ancient city spoke in 1780. It was then under the leadership of grifantini Valcarcel de Saboia archaeological excavations were made in “Tosal de Manises”. He suggested that this is Lucentum contrary to some hypotheses that it is located much further. Town excavations were resumed at the end of the last century. So, in 1930, when laying roads engineer Beldeu were accidentally discovered here the remains of an ancient Muslim cemetery. But apart from the graves there were found various objects belonging to the Iberian and Roman era. This and ceramics from terracotta clay, and ancient weapons, and various implements of labour. It is now in the archaeological Museum of Alicante, which is the most important Museum in the whole province.

In the period after the war, this historically significant site was almost sold for development. But many of the interested archaeologists, including a specialist from Sweden Solveig the Nordstrom defended him. And in 1961 the land on which was located ancient Lucentum, was declared a national monument of Spanish history and architecture. This was for the sites considerable protection from a legal point of view. But this is not quite enough, because the ancient ruins repeatedly suffered attacks by vandals, and treasure hunters. And only recently, in the 90-ies of the 20 century adopted additional measures on arrangement of strict protection of the area.

Archaeologists today continue quite successfully to carry out the excavation, opening with all new facts, hidden places. From the depths of some of the surviving elements of the ancient city, remaining miraculously intact. Were restored in its original form and some of the houses, walls. Here you can see baths baths, the streets and shops of the ancient Lucentum.

Routes for visitors are designed to be as convenient as possible. So, the tour starts at the pavilion, which features a diagram of the route and informational materials. The tracks are sprinkled with multi-colored gravel, so you can easily understand what kind of building to visitors. For example, green color indicates the design associated at the time with water, yellow color and traces of the fortifications, white indicates public building, red denotes a house. In the summer there are organized various cultural events.

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