On Tuesday 2nd May, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by Jorge Correia and Antonio Rodrigues. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Trajo in São Bras, the second lecture will be at 5.45pm at the Convento de São Jose in Lagoa.
The municipal area of Silves offers a diverse geological landscape that ranges from the hilly uplands to its coastal limestone cliffs. The archaeological evidence shows that human occupation has occurred throughout the region from as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic.
The presentation by Jorge Correia and Antonio Rodrigues will focus primarily on some of the main archaeological sites and finds that are the material evidence of human presence in the region. They will give a brief insight into the prehistoric presence through the various aspects ranging from microlithic tools to megalithic monuments. Changes in the social structures brought about through the origination of metallurgy (metalworking) are mirrored in artefacts that accompanied the deceased during the Bronze and Iron Ages, the graves of which are quite numerous in the region of Silves.
The rise and expansion of the Roman Empire introduced a new modus vivendi to all the conquered regions and the Iberian Peninsula was no exception. Although investigation has focused little on the Roman presence in the Silves region, recent archaeological studies have produced some surprising results. The timespan between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula was marked by a strong generalised ruralisation of the various communities.
This period left minute evidence in the region, although an astounding group of graves carved into the bedrock located in São Bartolemeu de Messines and Vale Fuzeiros has survived. The rise of Christianity and the spread of the Islamic faith contributed significantly to great change in the status quo of the Iberian Peninsula, influences that are still felt today and the evidence for which will be presented.
Jorge Correia studied Heritage at the University of the Algarve (UAlg) where he obtained his masters degree in archaeology. He collaborated with Prof Nunho Bicho (UAlg) in excavations at Lapa do Picareiro cave and Vale de Boi between 1999 and 2004. In 2004, alongside Pedro Barros, he discovered and excavated the Iron Age grave of Gregórios. In 2009 he co-ordinated the excavation of the Iron Age graves of Vale Romeira near Messines and participated in excavations of the Roman villa of Cortes (which was detected during a survey that he lead in the region in 2004).
Since 2005, Jorge Correia has worked for the Municipality of Silves in the Historical Heritage Department. Antonio Medeiros Rodrigues studied History and Archaeology at the University of Coimbra (1997-2001). He collaborated with Prof Teresa Gamito (UAlg) working at the Horta de Misericordia in Faro, the Necropolis Crista just to the north of the Cathedral in Silves and the Islamic cisterna in the Rua do Castelo in Silves. Since 2003 he has been working as an archaeologist in Silves Council, where he has worked on a number of projects including the Gregorio Mascarenhas Theatre and in the Silves Municipal Archive.
Correia has also carried out archaeological evaluations in Armação de Pera, which led to archaeological excavations at the Fortaleza de Santo Antonio das Areias on the beach front.
Lunch in São Bras can be arranged in advance – please call Maxine on 917 267 948.
Non-members are welcome to attend the lectures for a 6 euro admission fee - all money raised by the AAA is spent on archaeological grants and speakers.
Please check the website or facebook page for any last minute changes.