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The Mojácar Excavation Yields New and Interesting Discoveries

The Mojácar la Vieja 2022 excavation campaign has concluded with very positive results, as those responsible for the dig revealed in the presentation of the results: the University of Granada, the MEMOLab Biocultural Archaeology Laboratory, the director of the General Research Plan and Mojácar Council.

As is customary, at the end of each campaign’s excavation works, those responsible explain the findings and conclusions stemming from the works carried out on Mojácar la Vieja to local residents and to those who are interested.

On this occasion, the locality’s Multi-Uses Centre, with a large audience, was the meeting point where Emmanuel Agüero, Mojácar Council Tourism Councillor; José María Martín Civantos, Director of the MEMOLab laboratory; Jorge Rouco Collazo, director of the General Investigation Plan; Julio Miguel Román, PGI Researcher; Cristina Martínez Carrillo, Archaeological Material Expert; and Noelia Aguado, Community and Participative Archaeology Expert, gave an interesting conference about the novelties found.

The 2022 campaign is the fifth since this project was started and the first carried out with the support of the General Investigation Plan.  This year two main lines of action have been followed: one of them following the outside walls, by the entrance gate, and another in the area outside, on the southeast hillside, where it is suspected there were dwellings. 

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Worthy of note is the appearance of another wall and corresponding entrance gate, at the foot of the one initially found during other actions, and that in previous years was thought to be the only entrance to the compound. The defences of Mojácar la Vieja, as shown by its two walls, are much stronger than initially believed, indicating a huge investment in the construction of the castle and its control with this double fortification. This makes the defence and the attack very complicated since it is very intricate, both being built on a curve. This also suggests that this great effort would only have been made due to the great importance of the settlement.

In the new open zone, in the area outside the walls on the southeast side, a very well-structured, two-floor house has been found, and what could be other very well-built houses that correspond to the typical models of the Moorish era.

In the conclusions obtained during this month of work, there have taken part a group of professionals made up of researchers, the majority from MEMOLab, and by another 13, external, who are professors and researchers from different universities and analysis centres, such as CSIC, from both Spain and the UK, as well as two shifts of 35 archaeology students who have worked on the excavations.

Standing out is the reaffirmation of the potential, whether from the historical or heritage point of view of Mojácar la Vieja, that little by little is being uncovered and which can be seen with the naked eye on the mountain itself, underlining the importance and the significant remains, together with its good conservation and the possibility of understanding everything related to this settlement: how it was built, when and how it was abandoned.

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In addition, increasingly more evidence of the instability of the terrain is appearing, mainly in the area of the old entrance. Work remains to be done on its origin and its formation in order to understand how it was founded, who created it and where the population came from, since we already know how they lived and what type of dwelling was used.

Also remaining is the work of study and analysis throughout this year, from organic remains like thorns, scales, shells, eggshells, and ceramic remains, including a pipe with remains of what is suspected to be hashish, found this year, and which will yield new data, new surprises about the form of production, subsistence and organisation, providing a complete image of Mojácar society of those times.

Coming away from the dig site, mixing with local people and bringing them closer to it, understanding the direct relationship between the two settlements – Old and New Mojácar with their surroundings – and keeping the intangible heritage alive, is a task that MEMOLab tries to carry out in all its actions.

With the PGI there opens a new stage of analysis and of basic management to restore, conserve and highlight its importance so it can be visited. Collaboration with both the Valparaíso Foundation and the owners of the land on which they are working, opens the door to gaining more support from the State, to the 1% Cultural that would be added to that already provided by the Local Council and from the Smart Heritage company.

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Mojácar Extends the Period of the Christmas Illuminations

Mojácar’s attractive Christmas decorations thanks to being the winner of the Ferrero Rocher “Together we shine brighter” contest, added to the offers from traders and the hospitality sector, have made the municipality one of the must-sees this Christmas.

Every night Mojacar receives a large number of visitors, who come to enjoy the festive atmosphere that runs through the whole of the locality’s old town.

Given the raised expectations, Mojácar Council wants to let everyone who wants to gaze at these spectacular illuminations know that they will remain on, for the time being, and as a minimum, until the end of January, not ruling out the possibility of extending this period further and as already announced by the Mayor, Rosa María Cano.

With this decision, Mojácar Council wants to give thanks for the support fired up throughout the province in the campaign to become the competition winners and hence give the opportunity to all those who wish to enjoy the illuminations, without having to rush and without the need to stay within the limited calendar of the traditional dates of Christmas.

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This way Mojácar will shine brighter for longer and remain open for many more dates to be able to come to the municipality.

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Firefighters Donate Three Fire Engines to the Centre for the Hospitalised Children

The Levante Almeriense Firefighters’ Association has been to the paediatrics department to visit the hospitalised children and to make a donation of three fire engines for them to use during their hospital stay on these such important days.

These trucks are automatic and able to be steered by the parents of the hospitalised children or by the children themselves if they are a bit older. They also have a built-in Bluetooth music selection system, sirens, and are equipped with lights for emergencies.

The fire engines have been decorated by the firefighters themselves with all the emblems, shields and anagrams to make them replicas as similar as possible to the ones that they use. They have also devised a special system for fixing a hook so that there is the possibility of hanging IV bags or medications and they can be used by everyone without any hindrance.

They were received at the Huércal-Overa Inmaculada Hospital by the Health Delegate, Juan de la Cruz, the Inmaculada Hospital Manager, José Miguel Medina, and the paediatrics service Management Team and health personnel, who thanked them for their generosity towards the hospitalised children and their parents, an appointment they don’t fail to keep both at Christmas and throughout the year.

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For their part, the members of the Levante Almeriense Firefighters Consortium feel very pleased at having been able to repeat this visit that they never miss at Christmas, except those required due to lock down, and for having managed to bring happiness and smiles to the patients and their parents, making them forget the hospital routine, even if it is only for one morning; one of the aims that, for years, they have fulfilled at this time of year.

A touching gesture by the Levante Almeriense Firefighters team, which together with other initiatives, such as collaboration with different NGOs, sports events, etc., expresses their closeness to and their wish to be in contact with the public.

Added to the important work that the firefighters carry out in our society, they go a step further in their commitment to solidarity and assistance, with this type of initiative.

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The Traditional Festival of Nine Lessons is Celebrated in Mojácar

As has become a regular in Mojácar’s Christmas celebrations, the locality’s two most important religious communities came together for the Festival of Nine Lessons, a meeting of Catholic and Anglican faithful gathered around the reading of Genesis, in both languages, as well as an exchange of traditional Christmas carols from both cultures.

The celebration was officiated by the Mojácar Santa María Catholic Church Parish Priest, Victor Manuel Fernández, and the Costa de Almería Anglican minister, Alwyn Carter.

As is customary, the gathering was held in the Mojácar Santa María Parish Church, and was attended by Spanish and British faithful, Catholics and Anglicans, who jointly and emotionally celebrated this time of Advent, a prelude to the most important days of the year for the faithful of both communities.

The readings by the faithful begin with the Old Testament. By the hand of the prophet Isiah the birth of Jesus is announced and through the apostles Luke, Matthew and John, the impact of his birth on the world is related. The lessons, in Spanish and English, are interspersed with Christmas carols, also typical of both cultures.

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The Anglican tradition of holding the Nine Lessons Festival during Advent dates back to 1880, when the Archbishop of Canterbury designed the service for the eve of Christmas in Cornwall in the UK. It’s a service of nine short lessons from the Bible in which the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus is usually outlined.

The ceremony ended with the performance by the British and Spanish faithful of the well-known carol “Adeste fideles” (O Come, All Ye Faithful), sung in the original Latin.

Decorated for Christmas, the Santa María Parish Church, has an addition to its original charm as a place of meditation, highlighting the Parish Nativity scene, which is always set up by the Mojácar parishioners.

The Nativity, of great beauty, is the work of the Murcian creator Jesús Griñán from the locality Puente Tocinos, where there are the best Nativity scene makers in Murcia, and which has a grand modelling tradition.

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Although the central figures of the Nativity scene have been in the parish for a long time, new passages from the life of Jesus have been acquired over time from the same sculptor, so that today it is a display of great artistic and cultural value with movable figures that recreate the different trades of the time.

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