At the mouth of the river Odiel, in front of the city of Huelva, in a protected natural frame and surrounded by marshes where the birds find their own nesting paradise, is a great unknown for many Andalusians.
At the mouth that begins to form a delta only communicated with the continental land by a small road, we find the island of Saltes. During the Franco era, this island covered by marshes except in summer, was such a place to forget for its infamous function, was a center of concentration for thousands of Republican prisoners captured during the civil war,
However we will not talk about our sad contemporary history, but we will go further in time. In the eastern part of the Odiel estuary, located in a more arid and consolidated area, is the archaeological settlement of Saltes, known in Arab times as Shaltish, an Islamic city probably late Caliphate with a citadel, houses very well urbanized and remains of water wells where it is estimated that an important population could live permanently.
The Alcazaba, whose mysteries were discovered throughout 2015, shows the remains of walls consolidated and of important thickness that gave a role to defend the city itself indicating that it was an important enclave. It is known that since Roman times there were remains of salting and its related industry which implies the importance of this place in this historical and economic context.
Nevertheless, it is curious that the most important remains corresponding to this enclave belong to the Islamic period (approximately century X to the XIII) and remains of Iberian epoch and even protohistórica, taking into account that of Roman time or visigoda of the moment there is little data.
There are many who venture to locate the capital of the mythical Tartessos in this place, on the other hand full of romanticism, nature and why not say it, tragedy if we include the episode previously described in the twentieth century.
At the moment, the government of Andalusia is excavating and rehabilitating this place to open it to the public later, however we must not forget that this enclosure in the case of restoration and opening to the public should be a place of diffusion of the history of region as well as a place of interpretation and learning that must be respected and protected as a witness of Humanity.
Saltes, could become a mythical place depending on the surprises that we will find in the future.