Diana Twist (AAA) at Loulé Velho, 1995 - ML.A5200

Loulé Velho (Quarteira) – archaeology of memory at a Roman site

The Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will present two lectures on Tuesday, June 4, in English, by Catarina Viegas and Rui de Almeida. Entitled ‘Loulé Velho (Quarteira) – Archaeology of memory at a Roman site’, the first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Traje, São Brás; the second at 6pm at the Convento de São José, Lagoa.

Catarina Viegas and Rui de Almeida, from the University of Lisbon, will be presenting what is known about the site of Loulé Velho (adjacent to Praia do Trafal, Quarteira) in the framework of the Roman economy from the first to the sixth century AD.

The LORIVAI Project, which began in July 2018, has as its main objective the study of the Roman site of Loulé Velho, which played an integral and structural role in the dynamics of the local and regional settlement of the Algarve coast in Roman times.

The project originated in the programme of research that opened with the exhibition “Loulé: Territórios, Memorias, Identidades”, which was held between June 2017 and April 2019 at the National Archaeological Museum. The LORIVAI project was brought to fruition by the signing of the Cooperation Agreement by the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon and the Municipality of Loulé.

Archaeological work at Loulé Velho at different times has identified structures related to the production of fish-based products (ceteriae), wine and olive oil.

An apsidal building and a relatively large necropolis were also recovered. It has not been easy to categorise the site as it has suffered continual destruction by coastal erosion.

This process, which has accelerated in recent years, has on the other hand compelled the rescue of a significant volume of archaeological finds. As a consequence, hundreds of objects have been retrieved, including many fragments of pottery of different categories and origins, metal and glass items, coins and fragments of mosaic, marble and painted stucco. All of the artefacts were deposited in the Municipal Museum. When identified and classified, their study has enabled the assessment of the site’s significance in a regional framework and in the province of Lusitania, and on an even larger scale within the Roman Empire.

In this presentation, Catarina Viegas and Rui de Almeida will focus on the available knowledge about the site and its investigation, teasing out an understanding of the role of Loulé Velho in the Roman economy. An important part of the project is the collaboration and participation of the local community in various activities which have included several open-day laboratories, courses and talks.

Catarina Viegas, Assistant Professor at the University of Lisbon since 1997, is part of the research team of UNIARQ – Centre for Archaeology at the University of Lisbon. Her research focuses on the Roman settlement and economy in central and southern Portugal, with a special emphasis on the study of different categories of Roman pottery.

Rui de Almeida holds a Masters degree in History and Archaeology and is a researcher at UNIARQ. He is currently developing several projects for Loulé City Council and its Municipal Museum. He has focused his research on the production and trade of foodstuffs between Lusitania and the provinces of the Roman Empire which formed the basis of his PhD research.

Non-members are welcome to attend AAA lectures for a €5 admission fee, with all money raised by the AAA being used for archaeological grants and speakers.

For more information, email [email protected], visit arquealgarve.weebly.com or Facebook ‘Algarve Archaeological Association’. Please check the website or Facebook page for any last-minute changes.



Diana Twist (AAA) at Loulé Velho, 1995 – ML.A5200
Loulé Velho, 1978 – F Mendes – Archive, Loulé Museum
Loulé Velho, 1980- F Mendes-Archive, Loulé Museum