Visit to the Can Blai dig site

canblaiEarlier today, councillor of culture and patrimony of the Formentera Council, Susana Labrador, visited the Can Blai site in es Cap de Barbaria to witness progress being made on the archaeological dig there from 1 through 30 July. Co-directed by Ricardo González, professor of Ancient History and Archaeology at Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis and Dr Jordi Fernández, the work falls under the umbrella archaeological project Can Blai: un fortín bajo imperial de vigilancia costera en el Mediterráneo occidental ('Can Blai: a lower-imperial, coastal fort in the Western Mediterranean').

When the third, current phase of the project is concluded Professor González indicated his intention to “publish a presentation of the use and chronological details of the fortification”. The project co-director added, “the first decade of the fourth century Rome dispatched some 80 men to the fort with an end toward keeping vigil over the island and thwarting the arrival of possible enemies”.

23 students from 13 universities across Europe

A total of 23 students from 13 different European universities are helping with excavation duties. The project is being poised as a learning space that will allow students to take part in training, both practical and theory-based, linked to their field of study.

Though the bulk of the project's funding is provided by Fondation Unice, it also benefits from the support of the Formentera Council. According to Councillor Labrador: “The administration has put forward all the capital in terms of the project logistics, and has also provided help with food expenses and lodging”. The councillor highlighted “the importance of projects like this that shed light on the island's past”.

Lecture series

Labrador also spoke about another educational aspect of the initiative: A series of 13 seminars that extends through the end of July and deals with topics related to the Can Blai excavation. “The conferences will even benefit from the presence of Dr González, who will give a sneak peek at the team's 2015 findings”. All of the talks are scheduled for the conference hall of the Formentera Council office of culture.