Ancient convent found

news: Ancient convent found

Throughout the month of August, a group of around 50 history students from Minho University in the north of Portugal, led by several professional archaeologists, worked on archaeological digs at Ponta da Atalaia, in Aljezur.

After a month of hard work and labour, the team uncovered the sufi lbn Qasi convent, which was apparently built in 1130 and destroyed in 1151, following the assassination of the Arab king, sufi Ibn Qasi. Throughout their investigations, they uncovered an oratory where the monk-warriors lived and a patio where, according to the archaeologists, Ibn Qasi would receive pilgrims and perform religious rituals. They also discovered ceramics, pieces of metal which had been part of their weapons, such as spears and arrows, weaving tools and religious documents.

The project was lead by archaeologist Rosa Varela Gomes and Mário Gomes, graduates of Social Science and Humanities from Lisbon University. It was supported and funded by the Associação de Defesa do Património Histórico (Association of Defence of the Historical Patrimony), the Archaeology Association of Aljezur, Aljezur Câmara, the Portuguese Institute of Archaeology and the Plano Nacional de Trabalhos.