Underwater Heritage in Sea of Cascais, Portugal


The Underwater Archaeological Chart of the Municipality of Cascais (PROCASC) has located 130 sites in a wide area in the Mar de Cascais (Sea of Cascais) for study and protection of archaeological underwater heritage, including the sites Praia de Carcavelos, São Julião da Barra and the Clipper Thermopylae.

The chronology of the sites ranges from the Roman era to the modern and contemporary periods, and the sites lie at depths varying from 5 to 30 meters. This survey was compiled in a geographic information system, including a map of the findings, indicating general aspects of the site, heritage and dangers.


Restricted and responsible heritage access to the main sites is now offered to the public. Some sites that remain under study but generate extra interest have been made accessible to amateur divers, provided that the visits can be integrated into the monitoring work of archaeologists and biologists.  A close collaboration has been established with a local diving school in order to promote diver training. Partnerships with the following organizations also promote awareness and disseminate information: the local fishing community, surfers and body boarders in Costa da Caparica; the Portuguese Navy, which participates through the Naval School and the Naval Research Center (CINAV); the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the port authority of Cascais; the Kind D. Carlos Sea Museum and the county schools.

Additional information to the public has been provided through scientific lectures, news publications and itinerant exhibitions, as well as through a dedicated space at the King D. Carlos Museum in Cascais.

Protective measures applied on site are reviewed every year by a transdisciplinary team composed of archaeologists, biologists, historians, conservators and oceanographic engineers.


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