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Archeology, and Underwater Heritage Conservation Laboratory


During the years 2021-2024, we are currently developing the following research projects:

  1. CARACA Project - a 4-year project focused on creating an Archaeological Map of Caldas da Rainha (Follow our progress at CARACA Facebook Page). To access the map showcasing archaeological, millenary, and paleontological heritage of Caldas da Rainha, click here.

  2. MEDICE Project - another 4-year endeavor titled "Memories and Dynamics and Scenarios from Prehistory to the Medieval Period" (Follow our progress at LabACPS Facebook Page).

  3. Brazilian Plurianual Project - Involvement in identifying the shipwreck known as "BARCO do ACARAÚ" located in Fortaleza.

  4. Blue School Project - This project focuses on Heritage Education, particularly on Subaquatic Heritage and Ocean Literacy. Its goal is to raise awareness about the ocean's importance and its connection to our daily lives.

  5. JORNAL Project - Participation in a column in Alvaiazerense newspaper.

  6. EXEA Museum Project - Collaboration with museums in Brazil.

  7. Ciência Viva Projects - Engaging young minds through the Young Scientists in the Lab program, offering internships in scientific projects for students from the 10th to 12th grade.

Information Dissemination:

  • Throughout the 4 years, we plan to organize bi-annual scientific seminars aimed at the historical-archaeological community to facilitate information exchange and discussion of results. Roundtable discussions, lectures, or other local dissemination methods are also planned, especially in informal spaces such as libraries, schools, associative spaces, or even cafes/bars in the region. These actions will be accompanied by the development of informative brochures on various heritage topics and practical work done in the region, including an annual guidebook containing information on the project's progress, thus raising awareness among the population about historical-archaeological themes.

  • Additionally, we aim to achieve national and international dissemination objectives through conference presentations and scientific article publications.

Summary of Main Projects:

MEDICE Project - Intervention area in Alvaiázere (Leiria). Approved by DGPC - Project: Memories, Dynamics, and Scenarios from Prehistory to the Classical Period.

Objectives: Study and intervention in various archaeological sites registered in the Alvaiázere municipality, from prehistory to the Roman era. Notably, the Algar da Água cavity, located in the Alvaiázere mountain range, stands out due to its extraordinary stratigraphic potency and regional proximity, allowing for a correct analogy with the symbolic-ritual data recorded from works carried out in the Rego da Murta Megalithic Complex, also conducted by the project team. Thus, these works aim to identify differences and similarities in possible rituals present in the two types of spaces/monuments, as well as to perceive the existing practices in the occupation of these sites. It is worth mentioning that the studies of this cavity have highlighted it in the archaeological scientific community, as it is the only cavity specimen so far with filiform rock art attributed to the Iron Age, being extraordinarily relevant, in addition to all the other data on regional occupation during this period, for understanding proto-history in Portugal.

CARACA Project - Intervention area in Caldas da Rainha (Leiria). Approved by DGPC - Project: Archaeological Map of Caldas da Rainha.

Objectives: Study, research, and development of an archaeological map of Caldas da Rainha, a fundamental project for the municipality in terms of safeguarding and enhancing the heritage of this region and understanding its heritage impacts. The management of the territory for which municipalities are responsible, including the heritage analysis component, is only possible if different elements are considered, including the recognition and location of ancient occupation areas, areas already heavily destroyed, and some without visible structures, as well as the traces they hold, which allow the reconstruction of the municipality's history. Understanding and recognizing points of interest and areas of greater or lesser historical-archaeological viability will guarantee better territorial organization, allowing for prior safeguarding and the development of the best strategies. The development of this work will culminate in the publication of data in a book and digital format for public access, with two books already published: Moinhos das Caldas da Rainha and Lendas das Caldas da Rainha. As for the archaeological map, at the beginning of the project, 33 sites were known, but currently, over 80 sites have been inventoried.

Heritage Education Activities - BLUE SCHOOL:

Objectives: The Blue School is an educational program whose mission is to promote Ocean Literacy in Portugal. This national program distinguishes and guides Portuguese schools working in this field, creating a community of Ocean Literacy that brings together schools, teachers, students, the maritime sector, municipalities, universities, and other entities with an active role in maritime education. The Blue School's mission is also to integrate the different marine education actions developed in Portugal into a single and integrated strategy, capable of involving all stakeholders in the promotion of ocean literacy in Portugal. The Blue School, as an educational program for ocean literacy, follows the guidelines of the National Strategy for the Sea and the National Strategy for Citizenship Education and is in line with the Profile of Students at the End of Compulsory Education. It follows the guiding principles of Ocean Literacy (USA and UNESCO) and the recommendations provided in Sustainable Development Goals 4 (Quality Education) and 14 (Protecting Marine Life) and 17 (Working in Partnership) of the United Nations.

In addition to our partnership with the Blue School, our archaeological projects involve heritage education activities, closely related to the dissemination of the results inferred from their development. This dual function will allow the community to recognize and understand our work, thus contributing to greater collaboration, which will always have a positive impact on the success of multi-year projects and ensure greater civic education for the enhancement and protection of heritage. We will explore awareness dynamics in society, creating various strategies that may not be outlined in the following lines but may meet the diversity of elements that characterize society, whether aspects of its traditions, habits, and/or knowledge about heritage. The heritage education activities we plan to develop will create active processes of knowledge in communities, allowing for the enhancement of their heritage through a better understanding of the past and the factors related to it. This increased respect and awareness will ensure a fairer and more knowledgeable society, empowering them for better enjoyment of these assets and fostering the construction and production of new knowledge in a continuous cultural creation process. It is in this sense that part of our efforts will be invested in local training and education activities, which will take place over the 4 years, expressed through brochures, lectures, seminars, or workshops, duly planned and developed according to the age group and objectives intended to be achieved with each one.

The last project we collaborate on is "The Ocean Misses Us".

Participation in Active Youth Programs - Ciência Viva:

Development of internship work programs in scientific projects for the participation of young people from the 10th to 12th grade. (National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture), so that participants can learn about archaeology and at the same time be sensitized to cultural heritage.


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