Friday 20 June : 19:30
The Islamic World in Xàbia and the Marina Alta
A talk by
In the auditorium of the Museum of Xàbia
The talk will be in castellano with English summaries
The dilemma of what to wear and what to eat at the ‘sopar Al-Àndalus’ of the AMUX has prompted Josep Castelló to offer us a brief history of the visible traces left by the muslims on our country, from their arrival in the Peninsula in 714 until the Christian conquest of Dénia in 1244. He will take us on a trip through the different stages of andalusi government, from that of the Emirate and Califat, the important period of the taifa of Dénia and the almorovid and almohad periods. He will also talk about the types of settlement, the cultural material found in archaeological excavations, the crops they introduced and the society and customs of the andalus population.
Exhibition - Parpalló, 85 anys 'in waiting’ (1929-2014) Casa de la Marquesa, Gandia 29 May to 14 June
The Parpalló Cova is one of the most important Upper Paleolithic sites in the world.. Gandia City Council has decided to bring Parpalló closer to people with the offer, for the first time in history, of a circuit of guided tours to the site.
In parallel, it has organized a monographic exhibition on Parpalló, where you can see historic photographs of the excavation in the late 30s of the last century, as well as replicas of the famous "platelets" of Parpalló, along with other items that will demonstrate the incalculable value of this cave and its global importance.
( Michael Stephenson (centre) with (L to R) Christine Betterton-Jones, Ximo Bolufer, Milagros Uriate and Josep Castelló studying the plans.)
A unique collection of detailed site plans of over 50 castles in the Comarca have been donated to Xàbia’s Museum Soler Blasco by long-time British resident Michael Stephenson. The Amics del Museu (AMUX) arranged the donation and are currently putting together a team to prepare the material for exhibition.
Joaquim Bolufer, municipal archaeologist and director of the Museum, is delighted by the donation. “Many of the plans are the most accurate in existence . They will provide material for a unique exhibition of interest, not only to Xàbia residents, but to people all over the Marina Alta and Baixa and El Comtat. The Museum is very grateful to Michael for his generous donation”.
For many years Michael, together with friends Anne Scott and Ted Adams, visited the ruined castles in our region. “I was always curious about the number of castles I spotted from the road when I drove to Valencia. This combined with my love of walking provided the stimulus for the project,” says Michael. “My friends and I took photographs to indicate the topography and carefully measured the layout of the walls and other structures so we could prepare accurate scale drawings.”.
Members of the AMUX have already volunteered to prepare the material for exhibition. These include local archaeologist Josep Castelló Marí and Christine Betterton-Jones, who has already uploaded some of the plans on to the AMUX blog together with articles by Michael published in the now defunct “Valencia Life” magazine http://amuxabia.weebly.com/castellscastilloscastles.html
Retired librarian Milagros Uriate has volunteered her expertise in cataloguing the material. She trained as a librarian at the Biblioteco Nacional and worked in the Biblioteca del Institute Geográfico Nacional and the Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. “I realised that my training and experience in cataloguing would be very useful to the project”, commented Milagros, “and it would also be something that I would enjoy doing. I have just retired to Xàbia. It is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history of our area.”
The AMUX group has started work on sorting the 12 archive boxes of material that Michael Stephenson donated and would welcome more assistance. No professional experience is necessary. For example, apart from cataloguing, people will be needed to take new photographs, research background information, write and translate the exhibition texts. Anyone interested in getting involved should email the AMUX at email@example.com
An antique machine for grading raisins has been donated to the Soler Blasco Museum in Jávea
This agricultural implement will be installed as part of the information display in the Riurau d’Arnauda
Jávea, Thursday, 20th March 2014.
The Soler Blasco Municipal Archaeology and Ethnographic Museum in Jávea has now added to its collection an antique piece of machinery originally used for grading raisins; the machine is an ingenious construction of wood and iron, measuring 294 by 180 cms wide and about 3 mtrs in height. This interesting and culturally valuable piece of equipment constitutes one of the last examples of its type still preserved in our region and has been donated by Agrogata SL, a descendent of the old CAS company (Union of Agricultural Cooperatives), established back in 1960.
According to the spokesman at the Museum, the machine will now be cleaned and tidied up before being installed as part of the informative display about raisin production located in the Riurau de los Català d’Arnauda situated in the Montaner park.
This special agricultural implement was constructed during the first few decades of the 20th century in the Borrell workshops in Denia and was used for various different purposes involved in the processing of raisins. Most recently the machine was used for stripping the stalks from clusters of raisins. However, it also has several interchangeable rectangular shaped screens used for the selection and grading of the raisins. The way it works is very simple: the raisins (loose or in bunches) were poured into a hopper at the top of the machine into a cylinder from where they dropped through some large rectangular screens which collected them and separated the stalks from the raisins. The mechanism was powered by an electric motor, which may have originally been steam driven, and which functioned with a rotary action, vibrating the sieves on the machine by means of straps and wooden wheels.
Excavations in Xàbia's Cova del Migdia discover more burial sites older than those dated to the Neolithic period.
Amjasa and the Town hall collaborate in this great archaeological project initiated by the Cirne Cultural Foundation
The new phase completed the sifting of the strata of sediment which contained ten human burials from the neolithic period. which carbon14 dating put between 2670 and 2250 BC. The remains were accompanied by grave goods, including tools such as arrowheads, stone axes, ceramic vessels, jewelry made with sea-shells and bones fashioned into needles. The archaeologist who led the excavation, Juan de Dios Boronat, highlighted the finding of a punch.made of copper This material was very unusual for the period and was undoubtedly imported from somewhere distant from Xàbia. It contextualises the changing times.
Another important result was obtained in a survey of another, deeper layer of the cave, about 20 cm below the burials previously studied. Boronat revealed this was the discovery of more, earlier, skeletal remains, which reveal the presence of other burials made between 200 and 300 years before those previously analysed.
All the results of the excavations are being recorded with the innovative technique of photogrammetry, which has enabled the making of a documentary in 3D giving an idea of this inaccessible cavity in the Montgó.. This will be presented at a competition for scientific documentaries in Baracaldo.
The importance of the archaeological site in the Migdia, which combine burials with rock paintings more than 5000 years old, began to be diivulged a few months ago through a comprehensive exhibition. This was was first displayed in the head office of the Cirne Cultural Foundation (which initiated and has coordinated this ambitious archaeological study), the Soler Blasco Museum in Xàbia and the MARQ in Alicante. It will now go to Guardamar del Segura and possibly then travel to Barcelona.
Xàbia Town Hall and Amjasa, the Municipal water company, are contributing financially to the project. As explained by Mayor, José Chulvi: ...for Xàbia " ...it is a luxury and great fortune to have a foundation like Cirne" and argued that public institutions "could not but collaborate with what is very important work, with great scientific and social impact ". Therefore within the context of their responsibility to social and cultural activities, Amjasa signed a collaborative agreement which provides 16,000 euros to the Foundation, which in return will prepare an exhibition on local history related to water to be shown to schools next year. The Town Hall also included a first agreement to aid Cirne in the current budget. Its chairman, Enric Martinez gave thanks for the municipal involvement and announced projects upon which they are working such as the water exhibition and another which will provide a perspective on Xàbia in the 1940's and 1950's.
Further collaboration with the cultural foundation is being channelled through the Museum and its archaeologist, Ximo Bolufer, who is involved in the Migdia excavations and the study of materials found. In addition, AMUX, the Friends of the Museum Association has offered assistance to the project through translation of the documentary about the cave into English.
Translated from Press Release
The Agrupacíon Fotogràfica launches exhibition on Xàbia traditional architecture
The 'Agrupación Fotogràfica de Xàbia (AFX)' will launch a new photographic exhibition about the traditional architecture of the town tomorrow (Thursday 28th March) at 7.30pm at the 'Museu Soler Blasco de Xàbia'. This exhibition, which constitutes 32 black and white images of windmills, ruiraus, wells, etc. by AFX members, complements the Easter activities such as the 'Feria de Artesanía de Pascua' and will be open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 1pm and then 5pm to 8pm in one of the rooms of the municipal museum. It is recommended for those who appreciate both photography and the heritage of Jávea.
We are pleased to report that the AMUX project to enable WiFi Internet access throughout the museum has been largely successful !
Now, the broadband Internet line in the Museum Director's office, which was previously dedicated to a single computer, can now be shared with others through two, new WiFi connections. One is for use by museum staff working in the office. The other has been set up using a TP-Link Powerline adapter kit. This uses the electricity wires to carry the Internet signal from the office to a WiFi transmitter installed in the middle of the museum.
Signals from this transmitter can be received in most rooms in the museum, including the auditorium and the small meeting room in the new building. This means that lecturers and people attending meetings can have Internet access if they need it.
Both WiFi connections are password protected.
AMUX committee member, Chris Betterton-Jones, enlisted the help of Javea Computer Club committee member, Andreas Wernli, to undertake this project, and the equipment was a donation to the museum.
The team now plans add the floor plan of the museum to "Indoor Google Maps" so that visitors can plan their route from exhibit to exhibit, identifying points of interest along the way, including between floors. They are also researching and testing free audioguide software and smartphone apps so internet-based audioguides can be created. These will be downloaded by visitors to the museum on their smartphones or tablets, and help to enhance their appreciation and understanding of the exhibits.
Last Sunday 27 January, more than 70 people, plus children and assorted dogs, walked from Xàbia’s Cementery across Les Valls to the Ermita de Popúl and back on the first guided walk to be organised by the Amics del Museu de Xàbia (AMUX). En route Ximo Bolufer, Muncipal archaeologist and director of the Museum, and archaeologist Josep Castelló Marí, pointed out places of archaeological and ethnographical interest and talked about the history and architecture of the Ermita.
Among the walkers was a group of girls from Tume in Lativia who are spending three months studying at the IES Nº1.Xàbia as part of a School Partnership.
Unique prehistoric discoveries in Pedreguer Cave - AMUX president, Ximo Bolufer is a member of the discovery team
On Wednesday 7th November a story of an important archaeological find hit the regional press. AMUX members were pleased to see that Xàbia's Municipal archaeologist and President of AMUX was a member of the discovery team.
An English version of the press release is printed below:
La Cova del Comte, in Pedreguer, is hiding a treasure in her depths that may become one of the jewels of the prehistoric cultural heritage of the Mediterranean. That, at least, is the assertion of a group of five expert archaeologists, who in recent months have conducted a preliminary study sponsored by the Foundation Cirne of Xabia, a foundation dedicated to research and the dissemination of heritage.
The "treasure" is in the interior of a large gallery which is accessible only by crawling for about 30 metres through a crack in the rock from the first chamber. Archaeological remains have been found as well as several examples of Paleolithic art made between 16.000 and 18,000 years before the current era. Among these are paintings.
The relevance of the discovery inside the cave lies in several factors. Firstly "the existence of cave paintings inside dark cavities," is something without precedent in the Mediterranean, since Levantine rock art is always found in shelters open to the outside, according to archaeologist Juan de Dios Boronat.
"We are not talking about a case of Levantine rock art, of which we have hundreds of examples, this is an extremely rare case, and even more so in the Mediterranean area, in addition, it is almost triple the age of Levantine art," remarked archaeologist Josep Casabó.
Another peculiarity which makes this cave unique is that it combines pictorial art with the art of engraving, as the president of Foundation Cirne, Enric Martinez noted. He stressed that now is when the research work is really going to start. Archaeologists suspect that with some further work the cavity can bring even more positive surprises. "The cave is very large, and now we'll turn on the light and survey every inch of the walls," he said. "this is not the end, it is the beginning."
On this occasion, the Foundation Cirne found a collaborator in the Pedreguer Town Council, but the project would not have been possible without the collaboration provided by the Ministry of Culture, the Alicante Fire Consortium, and contributions made by several Pedreguer companies such as Rolser, Masymas and Manufactures Miralles.
The study of the cave has been promoted by Cirne and carried out by archaeologists Josep Casabó, Juan de Dios Boronat, Ximo Bolufer, Marco Aurelio Esquembre and Pasqual Costa.
Pedreguer Mayor, Ferrús Sergi said yesterday that his government would not hesitate to "use all means" at the service of this investigation, "having seen the enthusiasm of the team" of archaeologists before the challenge of bringing to light all that the Cova del Comte is hiding.