Sunday, March 4, 2012

Underwater Archaeology in Ibiza

Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza Town (Catalan: Vila d'Eivissa, or simply Vila), Santa Eulària des Riu and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Its highest point, called Sa Talaiassa (or Sa Talaia), is 475 m/1,558 ft above sea level.

The island is well known for its summer club parties which attract large numbers of tourists, but the island and the Spanish Tourist Office have been working to promote more family-oriented tourism. Noted clubs include Space, Pacha, Privilege (ex Ku), Amnesia, DC10, Eden, and Es Paradis. Probably the most famous bar on the island is Café del Mar. This bar is significantly connected with the music genre of chill-out music. The other notable player in the entertainment world in recent years has been Ibiza Rocks who feature more live acts than the established clubs. The brand now runs the most famous youth hotel on the island, Ibiza Rocks Hotel.

Ibiza is also home to the legendary "port" in the district of Ibiza, a popular stop for many tourists and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From the Ibiza Spotlighe: Underwater Archaeology in Ibiza Spotlight has featured many stories of archaeological finds and remnants of ancient civilisations which have been unearthed during building projects. The plans for the new Parador in Dalt Vila have been modified to accommodate many remains which have been found there and a new school planned on a former car park in the town centre is months behind schedule whilst archaeologists complete investigations on site.

Now, a new find has been made during the dredging process of Botafoch harbour. A 17th century ship was uncovered during the operations and already many relics – including two bronze canons – have been brought to the surface for study and eventual housing in a museum.

The eventual aim is to raise the ship Mary Rose style from the sea bottom and preserve it for future generations. This is such a time consuming and expensive operation that it cannot be done now when it would delay such an important project.

The island authorities have therefore decided to mothball the ship by completely covering it in a thick layer of sediment and then building the already planned car park on top of it. When the time is right in the future, it will be relatively easy to uncover the ship to raise and eventually display it to the public.

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