Pioneering project launched to protect Portimão’s underwater heritage

in Algarve · 13-03-2014 15:00:00 · 0 Comments
Pioneering project launched to protect Portimão’s underwater heritage

Portimão is to launch an innovative project which involves using metal detectors to find historic artefacts that were sucked up from the River beds of the Ria de Alvor and Arade when they were dredged, and strewn on to the region’s beaches amid the excavated sediment.

A protocol of collaboration was signed between Portimão Museum – which belongs to the Portuguese Museum Network – and the Ipsiis Project Association – formed by a group of citizens interested in cultural heritage – with a view to prospecting the relics.
Signed in close communication with the Regional Algarve Board of Culture and the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage (DGPC), the agreement of cooperation will enable the safeguarding of assets that otherwise might be irretrievably lost, ensuring their keeping, conservation and cataloguing, as well as producing more scientific knowledge to be shared with the public.
To achieve this, the DGPC has authorised archaeologists from Portimão Museum to supervise the afore-mentioned prospecting activity, granting Ipsiis licences for the use of metal detectors.

The current protocol prolongs an agreement first established in 2000 and which remained active until 2011, between the National Centre for Nautical and Sub-aquatic Archaeology, the former Portuguese Institute for Archaeology, and a group of citizens who went on to form the Portimão-based Ipsiis Association.
Among the 700-plus relics that have already been recovered through the agreement, which date from Chalcolithic times until the present day, were a votive skewer and a votive bronze figurine in the shape of a bull. A number of coins from across 23 centuries have also been unearthed, as have lead pieces and compasses.
A number of the artefacts are on permanent display at Portimão Museum and have been exhibited by the National Museum of Archaeology.



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