• Català
  • Castellano
  • English
Areas Social action Culture and Historical Heritage

Byzantine necropolis unearthed in Sant Francesc

Foto necropolis3Susana Labrador, the administration's patrimony councillor, joined by her department's staff specialist Jaume Escandell and archaeologist Maria José Escandell, held a press conference today on recent archaeological findings in Sant Francesc. Labrador explained the unearthing—a cemetery with origins in the Byzantine Empire—was a fortuitous corollary to preventive dig work being done in the urban centre of Sant Francesc Xavier. It is the second of its kind to be discovered on the island, she said.

Labrador underscored the importance of the preventive work that preceded the find. The councillor asserted that discoveries such as the necropolis justify the Council's heightened precaution, despite the additional cost such prevention imposes on project leaders. “We've got plenty of hidden treasure here on the island,” Labrador proclaimed, “and as we conduct more of this kind of work we'll see more cases like this”.

The four burial sites uncovered, which held the remains of at least 12 individuals (eight adults and four children), also enclosed funeral rites that allowed the team to identfy the site as seventh century Byzantine. Escandell hailed the cemetery as “highly significant in terms of cultural heritage, not least because this is a period on which scant information exists”. The ensuing study, he pledged, would “shed relevant scientific light on the historiographical study of Formentera in the late Antiquity".

At this point, the fate of the necropolis will depend on the decision reached by a special archaeological commission created in 2013 to provide technical review to archaeological initiatives of the Council.

Preventive archaeological efforts
The burial grounds were unearthed during preventive archaeological work ordered by the Council's advisory body on land, historical patrimony and other activities. Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites, adopted in September 2010 at the same time as a series of municipal regulations, requires a review of any planned disturbance to subsoil on protected archaeological sites.

The review must then be evaluated by the special commission, whose green-light is necessary before building permits are issued.

The archaeologist and project head said the discovery was the of its kind first since 1916, when Josep Colomines i Roca uncovered three burial sites—two from the Later Roman Empire and a third from the Byzantine—at can Gabino.

Maria José Escandell also highlighted the discovery of 23 holes, used for planting trees, which would have succeeded the cemetery. The tombs themselves, unearthed just as central efforts were concluding, were discovered when four cutouts were taken on the westerly edge of the dig site. Given the attributes of similar findings in the Pityusic Islands, it is likely that the necropolis in question extends further west and southwest.

Through the Antiquity the only village in the Pityuses was Eivissa. Individuals were spread throughout the countryside in single family units, the archaeologist said, which is crucial to understanding life, and death, on the islands at the time. Transporting a deceased person to the nearest village would have required several days' travel and that one temporarily abandon both home and land. Hence, from the start of Punic settlement of the countryside, inhabitants buried their deceased at family plots located quite near to their dwellings. Such “rural” cemeteries lasted continued through the Roman and Byzantine empires.

The archaeological team concluded that graves were initially devised to contain no more than one individual and that the decision to reuse them came after. They also pointed out the absence of iron nails, inferring that, unlike at similar sites, these buried individuals were not placed in wooden coffins.

Necropolises from the Roman and Byzantine epochs are often found to contain deposits of both cremated and non-cremated remains, which span the first to seventh centuries. It is the absence of signs from that five-hundred-year period, says Maria José Escandell, that suggests the newly uncovered necropolis is in fact much more extensive.

As for illnesses or other aspects of the interred individuals' health, work and diet, forthcoming studies will address those issues. For now it can be observed that the remains in question belonged to peasant farmers of grand stature who, judging by the funeral rites found nearby, were of modest means.

Archaeological work was overseen by the POSIDÒNIA firm, comprising Ricard Marlasca, J. M. López Gari and Maria José Escandell.

Multimedia workshop puts school children at centre stage of Formentera Film initiative

Foto FFtaller3Today through Wednesday, April 12, Formentera Arte will lead a multimedia workshop in which participants will produce the opening video for Formentera Film, an international festival of shorts, documentaries and video art.

Filming is under way mornings this week at la Mola's primary school and pupils are taking an active role in the process. Some of the participants will make up part of the festival's youth jury as well, whose official selection will be screened the final day of the festival, which runs May 18-21, 2017.

Organisers saw the workshop as a chance to engage children in the making of an audiovisual production. More than a simple cartoon, stop-motion films encapsulate the entire journey that video production represents.

Eduard Arnalot takes clown act to streets

Foto El Niu2This Saturday at 6.00pm, Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució will play host to a work of children's street theatre, according to a report from the Council's Office of Culture. “El Niu” is being billed as a production that reinvents itself at every turn of the corner.

Unencumbered by dialogue or rules, the show is driven by constant crowd interaction of the kind that cuts new paths to creativity. It is a road that surprises and laughs descend hand in hand.

Described as “a clown with the soul of a bird,” the show's protagonist captivates by virtue of his ingenuity, perspicacity and knack for whipping up joyous commotion everywhere he goes.

The show runs 40 minutes and is free.

Actor EDUARD ARNALOT, “DUDU,” began clowning around quite naturally at an early age. It wasn't until later, in an effort to bestow his inventiveness with form, that he trained among clown and mime experts like Eric de Bont, John Davidson, Moshe Cohen, Johnny Melvine and David Gol. From 1995 he wore two hats, as a clown and actor, for theatre, clown and circus performances like Cous Cous Clown, Discípulos de Morales, La Fura dels Baus, S’arruga, Essència de Nit and Unicornis.

In 2005 he presented his first individual show, “Dudadas,” a gestural clown affair that he took to numerous theatres in Spain and abroad.

In 2010 he unveiled “Calma,” an indoor show he performed until receiving the call in 2011 to play Purple Clown in Cirque du Soleil's “Alegria”. For two seasons he criss-crossed Europe until returning in 2013 with his current piece of street theatre, “El Niu”.

For more information visit http://duduarnalot.com

Crews turn to 'consolidation' phase of work at Es Cap de Barbaria II

Foto pollegueraPatrimony councillor Susana Labrador gave a joint press conference today with several of the team members on the Es Cap de Barbaria II dig site. Margalida Munar, Antoni Puig and Pau Sureda joined the CiF councillor in taking stock of archaeological efforts since March 20.

Now in its fourth year, the €14,000 initiative, backed by the Council's Office of Culture and Patrimony and staffed by a cohort of experts, is aimed at filling in blanks regarding Formentera's past.

According to Sureda, the project's ten plus specialists are tasked with “consolidating and restoring” the remains. Though he said excavating work had been completed, “the task of consolidating still remains”. Sureda described that part as “instrumental to ensuring the team's work lasts in the long run” and said it would also help analyse the information the team retrieves.

During its work so far, the group has unearthed a door hinge, one of the first of its kind in the Balearics that dates to the Bronze Age. The pre-historic site was populated by a group of individuals some 3,200 years ago.

At 8.00pm today the team of researchers will host an explanation of the Es Cap de Barbaria II restoration effort in the conference hall of the Office of Culture.

Formentera remembers Antoni Tur Costa, `Gabrielet´

gabrielet2On March 12, 2017, Antoni Tur Costa (nicknamed “Gabrielet”) would have turned one hundred. Here on Formentera, we would like to seize the opportunity to celebrate the first centennial of Gabrielet's birth.

Months ago, a committee was created to plan a series of events over the course of 2017 to pay homage to Gabrielet, not only the artist, but also and in especial the human being. As a member of the committee, the Formentera Island Council is a stakeholder in the celebrations.

March 31 (Friday), la Mola's Casa del Poble will play host to commemoration of the artist. Co-presented by Espai_F and OCB Formentera with additional support from the CiF, it will be a moment to share stories and memories of the milestones that marked Gabrielet's drawn-out, impassioned time on our island.

In 2017, two children's contests organised under the banner of the Sant Jordi holiday turn 18 — the first, for bookmark designs, and the second, for literature penned by kids. Named for Gabrielet and Robert Lewis Baldon, respectively, both encounters are included among this year's centennial celebrations of the illustrator and ceramicist. Entrants in the writing contest are invited to speak about “the art all around them”.

Another hat tip to the artist will come in the form of a documentary on his life, replete with interviews, images and samples of his work. Filmmaker Alfredo Montero, a Formentera native, is currently helming production of the film.

Formentera's centennial programme will resume in September with an exhibition at Centre Gabrielet in Sant Francesc. The show will focus primarily on the Eivissa-grown artist's drawings.

More Articles...

Page 117 of 132


Xarxa de Biblioteques

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics

Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera