Esteban, C. y Espinosa Ruiz, A. 2018: “El equinoccio en el ritual ibérico. El santuario de La Malladeta (La Vila Joiosa, Alicante)”. Archivo Español de Arqueología 91: 265-278. https://doi. org/10.3989/aespa.091.018.013 - - -
We present an archaeoastronomical study of the archaeological site of La Malladeta (La Vila Joiosa, Alicante), an Iberian and Roman sanctuary dated from the 4th century BC to the 1st century AD. It is located at the top of a coastal promontory. The photographic follow-up of the sunrise from the top of the sanctuary at different dates indicates that the Islet of Benidorm could have been used as a precise marker of the equinoxes or, more probably, of the temporal midpoint between solstices. On this last date, the sunrise takes place on the southern slope of the islet in a remarkable manner. Several of the few walls that remain on the top of the promontory, at the nuclear area of the sanctuary where rituals involving fire were carried out, are perfectly aligned towards the islet. On the other hand, the sunrise in the summer solstice occurs at the bottom of the southern slope of the Morro de Toix and near the remarkable Peñón de Ifach, which could have been used as marker of this moment of the year. It is suggestive that the line drawn between La Malladeta and the summer solstice sunrise coincides with the northern slope of the hill where the Iberian city of Álon was located, exactly from where its main routes of communication began and where the forum was most probably placed at the beginning of the Roman Empire.