Scientists study Roman heritage in Portugal’s Algarve

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Portuguese and German researchers are currently in the process of identifying underground structures and remnants in a dig that is currently taking place in the Western Algarve.

Scientists study Roman heritage in Portugal's Algarve
The
site at Boca do Rio in Vila do Bispo is thought to be one of the most
important of the Roman occupation 

between the 1st and 5th centuries
[Credit: The Portugal News]

The site at Boca do Rio in Vila do Bispo is thought to be one of the most important of the Roman occupation between the 1st and 5th centuries. In addition to learning more about the Algarve’s Roman heritage, scientists are also hoping to determine if there were other tsunamis besides the one that struck Portugal in 1755.

The dig is being spearheaded by Professor Felix Teichner of the University of Marburg (Germany) and also involves researchers from the German universities of Cologne and Aix-la-Chapelle.

Geo-radars are being used in the probes, which are devices with the capacity to analyse in detail the terrain and below-ground buildings, using the reflection of electromagnetic waves.

“These are non-invasive works, using a combination of different methods that allow us to discover evidence of human origin hidden underground, to create a solid project, to know exactly what we want from research for the future”, said João Pedro Bernardes, a Portuguese geologist who is collaborating on and coordinating the project.

Scientists study Roman heritage in Portugal's Algarve
In addition to learning more about the Algarve’s Roman heritage,
scientists are also hoping to determine if there were 

other tsunamis
besides the one that struck Portugal in 1755 [Credit: The Portugal News]

“From the Palaeolithic diet to what kind of illnesses these people gained from activities linked to fishing. What they ate and what impact that food had; that is what archaeology does, it discovers the activity of everyday life”, he explained .

The objective, the Algarve University researcher elaborated, is not only to focus the project on a specific era, but also to see the evolution of fishing techniques from the first century to the present day and “giving value to an archaeological site of great importance” in the identity of southwest Europe and a fishing and sea-going people.

“This overlap of occupations that this site contains makes it the ideal place to study evolution”, he said.

Vila do Bispo Mayor, Adelino Soares, said the identification of the region’s historical heritage “justifies the investment that has been made in supporting research, with a reflection on economic and tourist enhancement.”

“This forms part of a strategy of territorial development, of historical and cultural identification and of capturing another type of tourism”, he concluded.

Source: The Portugal News [April 07, 2017]

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