THE ROMAN VILLA OF LES HORTES
The Roman Villa of ‘Les Hortes’ site (‘The orchards’) shows evidence of a great rural property where other smaller settlements around depended on it. The concentration of archaeological sites at the same area, near the present old town, suggests that this important architectural complex could have been a Roman fundus.
This type of large rural explotations are linked to the Late Roman Empire (2nd to 5th centuries AD). During this Roman period, the main dwelling sites are rustic villas while cities decline, for instance, the close city of Lucentum (Alicante).
Part of this Roman Villa of ‘Les Hortes’ was seriously damaged by the construction of some modern family households in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2006, the decision to urbanize the area enabled archaeological works to find out the rustic part of the villa: a space used for storage and liquid manipulation likely attached to a winepress or an oil press, known in Latin as ‘torcularium’.
Currently no remains of this Roman villa can be noticed.