Heavy machinery was found to be levelling one of the slopes of Lo Zafra on Wednesday, in an area that houses the Bronze Age archaeological site of the Cabezo de La Mina. The alarm was raised by the Association of Friends of Sierra Escalona (ASE). The group explained that the work being carried also affects neighbouring forest land.
The plot is located in an area of great environmental value, next to the road that connects San Miguel with Torremendo (Orihuela) and adjoins the Protected Landscape of Sierra Escalona, declared to be protected just a few weeks ago by the Consell.
The heavy machinery has moved uphill to the Cabezo, the centre of the remains, which may have caused irreversible damage to any remaining artefacts, already affected by the construction of a house.
In the area there are owl’s nests, the habitat of a golden eagle and a wildcat. After the alert of ASE, environmental agents of the Generalitat and the City Council, together with a patrol of the Local Police went and stopped the work, although it is understood that work was resumed some hours later.
The Town Planning Councillor, Sergio Correas, said that the City Council sent a patrol to investigate the situation but the workers were in possession of an authorization for the agricultural use of the plot, which had been granted by the Generalitat.
He added that, in his opinion, the machines would not have damaged the site – with remains dating from 1,500 BC and that the protected area is “on the other side of the slope that can be seen from a collection of old photos”.