Tossal de La Cala was a Roman fortress or Castellum built by General Quinto Sertorio around the year 77 BC. During the Sertorian Wars, a civil war that lasted from 80 to 72 BC. fought on the Iberian Peninsula. The fortress was part of a chain of military enclaves on the coast that monitored trade by sea and protected the coast from enemy shipping.
|Picture courtesy of University of Alicante
Excavations by archaeologists from the University of Alicante have unearthed a more than 2,000-year-old rock-cut Inscultura face composed of three artistic representations: a human face, a cornucopia, and a phallus. The rock carving measures 57 x 42 centimeters, but the researchers believe parts of the carving are incomplete, with the top right portion mostly missing.
The intent of the carving is unknown, it may have been graffiti or had a ritual purpose. The addition of a phallus suggests that it may have served to provide protection, as the Romans believed that the phallus was the embodiment of a masculine power, and was one of the signs of the state's security providing protection, happiness and security. Phallic imagery can be found throughout the Roman world in sculptures, mosaics, and frescoes, as well as wearable items such as pendants.
The depiction of a cornucopia suggests the possibility that the face could represent a god or goddess, as many Roman pantheon deities associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance are often shown with a cornucopia in Roman reliefs and coins.