Archaeologists return to Cacela Velha to reveal medieval secrets

A new round of archaeological digs are taking place in Cacela Velha in a bid to reveal the “medieval secrets” of Muslim and Christian occupation that are still hidden beneath the picturesque village.

Around 30 researchers and university students are involved in the digs which will take place until July 12.

“The initiative aims to reassess existing vestiges, delimit the occupation areas and identify new areas with archaeological remains,” says Vila Real de Santo António council, one of the driving forces behind the project which also involves the Algarve culture board (DRCA) and the University of the Algarve.

Says the council, the digs will be carried out in the areas where archaeologists have already uncovered an Islamic neighbourhood that existed between the 12th and 13th centuries and the medieval Christian necropolis that is traced back to the 13th century all the way to the 16th century.

During the digs, there will also be a series of events that will be open to everyone, including a conference about “funeral practices during medieval times” at Casa do Pároco on Thursday, June 27 and an Open Day on Tuesday, July 9 which will allow anyone to enjoy an up-close look at the findings between 10am and 2pm.

Also planned is a guided tour led by the archaeologists in charge of the digs on Saturday, July 13 at 6pm.

Says VRSA council, the main goal of this project is to learn more about Cacela Velha’s rich medieval history and obtain more information about the different groups of people who resided in the area during medieval times.

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