2010 - June : Visit to the Roman site of Cerro da Vila (Vilamoura)
20 AAA members and guests joined archaeologist Filipe Henrique to tour the Roman site behind Vilamoura Marina.
Two thousand years ago the ‘marina’ was a vast harbour used by the Romans to export garum (fish sauce/paste), olive oil and wine and also textiles dyed purple with the extract from the murex seashell.
Cerro da Vila is an extensive well-signed site taking in, amongst other things, the remains of the rustic villa, watchtowers, warehouse and baths on the higher ground and the recently excavated Roman port below. In 2008 perfectly preserved port timbers were uncovered in the mud along with a large brick-made drain. The excavation was led by Felix Teichner helped by students and some AAA members. In fact, Filipe said that at one time there were 40 people digging, assisted by huge mechanical excavation machines – a major work. In the future the port section will be open to the public.
We ended our tour with a visit to the excellent Museum & Visitor’s Centre. This houses a fine collection of Bronze Age, Roman and Moorish artefacts.