Monchique will once again receive an archaeological campaign on Cerro do Castelo de Alferce

Campaign runs until September 2

Archaeological excavations on the Alferce Castle hill – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

The archaeological site of Cerro do Castelo de Alferce, in Monchique, will receive another archaeological campaign, until 2 September, within the scope of the Multiannual Research in Archeology entitled “From Recent Prehistory to the Islamic Medieval: ancient human occupations on the Cerro do Castelo de Alferce”.

The research project, promoted by the Câmara de Monchique, has been in force since 2020, in partnership with the Universities of the Algarve and Évora and the Mértola Archaeological Field, and with the support of the Alferce Parish Council and the Algarve Archaeological Association.

The archaeological site occupies a rocky elevation with a maximum altitude of 487 meters, located at the eastern end of the syenitic massif of the Serra de Monchique, and is formed by three fortified enclosures, the largest having an intramural area of ​​approximately nine hectares.

In addition to the Umayyad-Islamic occupation (XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries AD), the hill contains archaeological remains that can be traced back to Late Prehistory, namely the Bronze Age (XNUMXnd millennium BC).


Archaeological excavations on the Alferce Castle hill – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

“Considering the results of the two archaeological campaigns already carried out, we intend to continue to investigate the space located between the stretches of the west wall of the two fortified enclosures on top of the hill – an area that contains many archaeological remains», emphasizes the Monchique City Council in a press release.


Furthermore, the area of ancient entrance to the upper fortified precinct, as well as the so-called “prehistoric platform”.

«On the other hand, we will continue to focus on cleaning the land in the area defined by the two fortified enclosures that crown the hill, mainly through the removal of stones that are dispersed on the ground, and it is also planned to carry out a microtopographic survey of the terrain», the municipality continues.

This campaign will be attended by students and researchers from different higher education institutions, related to the areas of archaeology, zooarchaeology and cultural heritage.

The usual “open day” will also be promoted to the population, at the end of August, on a date to be announced.

Almost six hectares of the archaeological site of Castelo de Alferce belong, since last September, to to the Municipality of Monchique, who bought them from the previous owner, Diamantino Augusto.

There are 59.120 square meters of land on top of the hill where the ruins of the fortified structure are located, at the site of Portela da Pedra Branca, which, in addition to archaeological remains, also has many cork oaks, some eucalyptus and other trees. The land cost 25 thousand euros, an amount calculated after an official assessment.