Castelo Velho de Safara
Castelo Velho de Safara is located in the south of Portugal, at the confluence of the river Ardila and the stream of Safareja. Positioned on a hilltop in a commanding position, it was designed with defensive walls and three ditches.

Despite being known to archaeologists since the 1940s, the first systematic excavations in Castelo Velho de Safara started in June 2018. Based on surface pottery evidence and material recovered from recent excavations, the site was dated from the Chalcolithic (3rd millennium BC), to the Late Iron Age (4th century BC), and the Roman Republican Period (1st century BC).

Thus far, excavations have exposed a street running parallel to the defensive wall. The latter has some orthogonal compartmental structures associated to its interior whose function is still uncertain, but it is most probably related to storage activities. On the opposite side of the street, a longitudinal structure was identified. It is better constructed and seems to be associated with a residential area. The residential area could be divided according to status, and evidence of metal working on site is confirmed. Castelo Velho de Safara might have served as a trading post with important connections to the nearby mines of copper and silver, and with manufactured products from the Eastern Mediterranean.


Location Safara, Moura, Portugal
Period Roman Republic (1st century BC)
Iron Age (4th century BC)
Chalcolithic (3rd millenium BC)
Dates 7th - 21st January 2024 14th - 28th July 2024
Accommodation Shared house
Working Hours 8am - 1pm (excavation Mon - Fri)
3pm - 6pm (lab and lectures Mon - Fri)
Working hours may vary depending on the season and weather conditions
Saturdays: Free day
Sunday: Field trip
Programme - Excavation and recording of archaeological and geological contexts;
- Laboratory work;
- Archaeological survey;
- Lectures on archaeological methods, classification of Iron Age pottery and environmental archaeology;
- Field trips to national heritage sites.
Fee 75£/day, including:
- Shuttle from/to Lisbon Airport
- Full room and board
- Excavation and lab materials
- Lectures
- Fied trips
- Application fee
- Administrative costs
- Fees DO NOT INCLUDE airfare