Concha Project
Concha – Cape Verde


The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Principal Investigator: Prof. João Paulo Oliveira e Costa
Scientific Coordinator: Cristina Brito
Project Manager: Patrícia Carvalho

How Eveha Participates

Séjours de recherche

Fouilles sous-marines et terrestres

Montage de projet

Communications scientifiques

Rédaction d’articles scientifiques

A first field mission took place on the island of Praia (Cape Verde) between 30 July and 29 August 2018. On this occasion, various actions were carried out by the team members, some of whom met for the first time with the CHAM members managing the Concha project.

Aurélie Mayer and Bruno Zélie (Éveha International) took part in the excavations at the Cidade Velha site, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cape Verde.

The city of Ribeira Grande was founded shortly after the discovery of the archipelago in the 1460s. Throughout the modern period, the city showed a significant expansion linked to its important place in the transatlantic trade. The city had a monumental architecture and an important defensive system. However, it declined from the 18th century on, when most of the inhabitants were transferred to the city of Praia, the country’s current capital. Ribeira Grande is then gradually known as Cidade Velha, the ancient city.

Underwater archaeology

Christelle Chouzenoux (Éveha International) participated in underwater prospecting campaigns carried out at several sites. In the bay of Ilhéu de Santa Marie, remains of the Urania, sunk in 1809, have been identified. Among the remarkable elements, a ship’s cannon is still well preserved.
Several shipwrecks have been documented for the modern period in the former anchorage port of Cidade Velha. Within this sector, many anchors dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries have been identified. A massive stern fragment still undated has been discovered. The well-preserved wooden structure has been photogrammetrically surveyed.
Several remains have also been identified in the Bay of São Francisco.
A complementary mission will take place in January 2019 to the anchor cemetery of Cidade Velha. On this occasion, terrestrial excavations will be continued.

Outreach actions

Finally, several outreach and training actions took place during the mission. Discovery workshops were organised at the Praia Archaeology Museum for children in summer camps, enabling them to experiment land and underwater excavations.
A training day on underwater archaeology was held on 23 August for the Institute of Cultural Heritage (Cape Verde) members, law enforcement officers and diving instructors. This training focused in particular on the issue of legislation, which is now much more protective for submerged remains.
On the occasion of this mission, the members of Éveha International were invited for lunch by the French Ambassador Olivier da Silva, whom they thank for his hospitality.

“This project has received funding from the EU H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 777998.”