Monte Arabí is located to the north of the Region of Murcia. It belongs to the municipality of Yecla; in the north it borders the province of Albacete (the municipality of Montealegre del Castillo). The surrounding landscape is made up of lands devoted to agricultural activity and little forests. Some of its points of interest are: Cantos de Visera, the “Mediodia” cave, el Arabilejo and its cup and ring marks, the Cueva del Tesoro, Casa Marta’s chapel and Caserío de los Ibáñez.
It’s a Roman site corresponding to the type called rustic villa, which is defined as a typical Roman farm. As a general rule, it had a monumental or lordly area where the owner used to live, and a service area allocated to the workforce assigned to the farm. This type of facilities were the key element for Romanization in the hinterland of the Iberian Peninsula. In the municipality of Yecla they have calculated the total number of five rustic villas, which in addition to Los Torrejones, complete the Roman settlement in our area: El Pulpillo, Marisparza, Casa de la Ermita and Fuente del Pinar, and two more sites corresponding to a Roman mansio, that’s to say, a stopping place (which may be equivalent to a current hostelry) and a Roman route, in this case the Via Augusta route, which connected Cádiz through Játiva, Vía Cástulo (Jaén) which, passing through the municipality of Yecla, corresponds to the so called Traviesa de Caudete. Those mansio have been found in the areas of Casas de Almansa and la Casa de las Cebollas.
It’s an archaeological site from the Islamic period located in the castle hill (“Cerro del Castillo”). In the middle of the 12th century, Arabic written sources called Yecla Hisn Yakka, a castle which was 45 miles from Mursiya, the Islamic province of Murcia (“cora de Murcia”). We know because of archaeology that the castle was built during the second half of the 11th century, in coincidence with the first period of Taifas, after the disintegration of the Cordoban Caliphate, first belonging to the taifa of Denia and afterwards to the Taifa of Seville.
It has an approximate area of 78,000 square metres and it is located 15 km north of Yecla. There we can find five architectural features of great interest: a canalization grid, a workers’ house, the remains of an aqueduct, a set of man-made caves rehabilitated as a human habitat and an area of petroglyphs.