Pottery clays quarries in the domain territory of ancient Ilici (Alicante, SE Spain)

The Alcudia archaeological site correspond to the ancient city of Ilici (Roman Colonia Iulia Ilici Augusta). The site consists of an succession of Iberian, roman, byzantine, Visigoth and Moorish settlements (since the 5th centuries BC to the 8th century AC) on the top of a hill that in the 1st century BC was surrounded by a wall and nearby the Vinalopó river mouth in the Bajo Segura Bay. This bay was known in Roman times as the sinus Ilicitanus. Different clays of the area nearby to the site have been sampled, analysed and then compared with analysis of some pottery remains of the different periods of the Alcudia settlement. The clays have been analysed by micro-X Ray fluorescence (µXRF) and by infrared spectrometry by Fourier transformed (ATR-FTIR), as crude, mixed in different proportions, and then heated to a different temperature until 900ºC. The old remains show affinities with the clays sampled from the Eastern part indicating a W-E influence, as the northern coast of the sinus ilicitanus. During the roman period and later the pottery was made using the nearby clays located just to the north of the site clearly influenced by the via Augusta. The topography to the north of the site is formed by low but steep hills and small creeks that possibly limit the commerce to the north, so the commerce follows the marine plain coast of the northern sinus ilicitanus. The opening of the roman road via August along the Vinalopó Valley favoured the use of pottery clays from the interior of the territory.

Paleogeographic map of the area north of the sinus ilicitanus. The clays used for pottery were obtained from the area parallel to the north shore of the sinus. Pottery: Variable carbonate no sílices

Cite as: Jordá Guijarro, J., Cerdán Sala, M., Sánchez-Sánchez, A., Ronda Femenia A., Tendero Porras, M. and Tent-Manclús, J. E. (2021): Pottery clays quarries in the domain territory of ancient Ilici (Alicante, SE Spain). LAC1+1, Landscape archaeology conference, 8-11 june 2021 Book of Abstracts. 45 p.

About messinianalicante

José Enrique Tent-Manclús is professor of Tectonics/Geodynamics of the Alicante University, blogs: The westernmost Tethys blog and the Messinian Alicante Group.