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Arrifana Ribât 'one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the 21st century' - abandoned, overgrown and ignored

archaelogicalDigThe Communist Party has demanded that the government explains why one of Portugal’s most remarkable archaeological discoveries, on the coast at Arrifana, Aljezur, is overgrown, abandoned, ignored and attracts zero interest from the Ministry of Culture.

There is highly unlikely to have been a budget allocation for 2019, leaving the Moorish necropolis, "completely abandoned and in need of cleaning, deforestation, consolidation and restoration."

The Arrifana Ribât, which was discovered in 2001, was established by the sufi master, Ibn Qasî, in approximately 1130 and abandoned in 1151. It is considered by many researchers studying the Islamic presence in Portugal, to be one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the 21st century.

The PCP is aghast that the Minister of Culture has no plans at all for the site but plenty of feeble excuses.

The Portuguese State’s ministers are adept at selection one or more of the top 50, ‘ways to say no’ and in this instance has blamed its own lack of definition of the land areas involved as part of the site is Public maritime Domain and the other is privately owned.

The PCP questioned the Ministry of Culture about its buying the land but the Minister of Culture explained that the Regional Directorate of Culture of the Algarve, back in 2014, had proposed buying the land and that in 2017 the Directorate obtained from the Aljezur land registry the identification of the owners.

While the interminable process was creeping along, “exasperatingly slowly” according to an accurate observation by the Communists, Arrifana's Rîbat was getting overgrown and damaged.

The minister's excuses continue, all relating to land ownership: for example, there can’t be a visitors’ information centre because part of the land is privately owned and there are ‘constraints’ and it’s in the Natural Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, which restrict the fight against vegetation ... and the construction of protection structures and visiting rails.

The Communists speak for many when complaining that, "the Government, instead of finding solutions to overcome obstacles, lamented the existence of these obstacles."


See also: 'The Arrifana Ribât - the Study of the Necropolis - 2014'The Arrifana Ribât - the Study of the Necropolis - 2014'




The Peninsula of the Ponta da Atalaia (Aljezur) and the exhumed structures of the Ribât of Arrifana



View of the necropolis (photo M.V. Gomes).



Several views of the Ribât of Arrifana's necropolis (photos M.V. Gomes, 2013/2014)


+1 #1 Historyman 2018-11-09 10:48
This is yet another example of the limitations of schools still teaching from Salazar era history text books when Portugal was as closed as north Korea is today. Locked away for decades so able to invent whatever history it liked. Since joining the EU the better educated Portuguese becoming much more aware of the influences and values left from the centuries of Islamic Period of occupation. Less denial - as with Spain. Which is useful as most of the Islamic inhabitants at the time went no where else. Their connections to their north African or Middle Eastern lands broken by centuries away from them. So just becoming pretend Recusants of their faith as so much of faithful in the Christian cultures did in the Eastern Med. when over run by Islamics.