Lagos 2006 Summer School









The work developed by the Texas A&M University team during the month of June was part of a well-established program previously setup by the municipality through its Direcção de Projecto Municipal Ciência e Descobrimentos, and coordinated by Mr. Tiago Fraga, who is both a city employee and a masters student in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University.


The outcomes of this year's summer school can be evaluated according to the three objectives established beforehand and stated above:



1. To participate in a number of different archaeological projects related to the ongoing inventory of the nautical cultural heritage of the Municipality of Lagos;


2. To travel in the region in order to make acquaintance, as much as possible, with the culture, landscape and language; and


3. To meet local people and Portuguese scholars and try to establish working relations that will hopefully provide future opportunities.





1. Participation in archaeological projects


This first objective entailed three major tasks:



1.a. Inventory and recording of a number of artifacts;


1.b. Inquiry into the artifact's proveniences and possible unknown shipwreck sites; and


1.c. Non-intrusive survey of several underwater sites with archaeological potential.


It was organized as a project divided into independent missions. Diving was dependent of the weather and sea conditions, and missions were planed in a flexible manner, having in mind their importance, estimated total duration, means necessary to carry them out, dependence of weather conditions, and availability of local guides, supporting craft, and personnel.


The following missions were carried out, from a wider list established beforehand and changed in view of the factors above stated.


1.a. Inventory and recording of artifacts.


1) Anchor - Motel Âncora


2) Anchors - Fortress


3) Anchor - City Wall


4) Stone anchors and lead stocks at Museu de Portimão


5) Âncoras de Pedra - Atlantic Diving Albufeira


1.b. Inquiry: artifact's proveniences and possible unknown shipwreck sites.


1) Âncoras de Pedra - Atlantic Diving Albufeira


2) Lagos 2 shipwreck


3) Lagos 3 shipwreck


4) Ponta da Piedade 1 site


5) Pedra do Calvario site


6) Mr. Graca Mira artifact collection


7) Portimão stone anchors (Mr. Stephan Fend)


8) Boca do Rio shipwreck


9) Martinhal 1 shipwreck


10) Martinhal 2 shipwreck


11) Praia da Galé shipwreck


1.c. Non-intrusive survey of underwater sites with archaeological potential.


1) Lagos 1 shipwreck


2) Lagos 4 shipwreck


3) Lagos 5 shipwreck


4) Ponta da Piedade 2 site


5) Ponta da Piedade 3 site


6) Praia da Luz 1 shipwreck


7) Praia da Luz 2 shipwreck


8) Iron gun from Cama da Vaca 1





2. Visits to important archaeological sites of in the region


Taking advantage of the bad weather conditions experienced in the first two weeks of June, a number of visits were accomplished to sites of archaeological interest in surrounding municipalities within the Algarve region.



1) Aljezur


2) Carrapateira


3) Vila do Bispo


4) Sagres


5) Boca do Rio - Océan shipwreck site and Roman shipwreck site


6) Zavial - Redoutable shipwreck site


7) Silves


8) Margins of the Arade River


9) Portimão


10) Faro


11) Pedras del Rei



a) Tuna fisheries' boats;


b) Tuna fisheries' anchors.




3. Establishment of personal and professional relations



The third objective was partially addressed in the previous section. Nevertheless, in order to meet local interested people and Portuguese scholars, as well as to try to establish working relations that will hopefully provide future opportunities, a number of events were organized:



3.a. A guided visit to the new Museu de Arqueologia de Portimão and a lunch with its director, Dr. Jose Gameiro.


3.b. An advanced seminar taught by Dr. Francisco Contente Domingues - Director of the Post-Graduation Studies in Portuguese Discoveries at the University of Lisbon.


3.c. A cycle of conferences delivered by the students was offered in the Municipal Library, aiming at the general public.




Conclusions and Further Actions



The summer school carried out in Lagos, Portugal, between June 1st and June 30th, 2006, was a success, both from the Nautical Archaeology Program and from the Municipality's points of view.


Students certainly found this experience worth their investment of time, money and energy. The Municipality expressed its satisfaction with the performance of the Nautical Archaeology Program team and the will to continue the working relation started with the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Lagos and Texas A&M University.


Next year we hope to be able to promote another field school with the following objectives:



1) To survey the Bay of Lagos in search of the hull remains that is known to lay in front of Meia Praia;


2) To survey the Praia da Luz area in search of the hull remains that are said to lay in the eastern end;


3) To organize a seminar on shipbuilding and Iberian ship construction open to local residents and history students around the world.