Algarve treasure hunters band together for community

It is billed as a pioneer project to safeguard Portimão’s underwater heritage, but what it boils down to is a group of modern-day treasure hunters with metal detectors unearthing forgotten bits and pieces from the past, the best of which are all going on show at Portimão Museum.
Project Ipsiis actually begun 14 years ago – with a core group of just three ‘Indiana Joneses’. Now there are 20, and the treasures they have discovered can all be seen on the group’s website www.ipsiis.net
In a bid to ensure the treasure-hunting continues, with its untold benefits for the local museum, a new agreement has been forged to ensure Ipsiis members at all levels get the necessary permissions to use metal detectors in and around the town’s Arade River and nearby Ria do Alvor estuary.
This far, over 700 artefacts have been found in the area – going back as far as the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) period. Following dredging along the banks of the Arade, expectations that there’s more to find are running high.
“This cooperation between a museum in the Portuguese Network of Museums and a group of citizens interested in cultural heritage will allow for the safeguarding of treasures that would otherwise be irredeemably lost, and assure their deposit, conservation and inventory while promoting scientific knowledge and public awareness.”
Anyone interested in learning more should access the Ipsiis website or telephone 282 470 837, 965 525 031.