February 16, 2008

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Wednesday April 9th, afternoon: departure from Beja to Arrábida, along Troia peninsula and across Sado river by ferry-boat. Organization: Beja Municipality

A mountain facing the sea: founded in the XVth century, the monastery of Arrábida stands on the southern slope of the small mountainous chain of Arrabida. Sheltered among the trees facing the Atlantic ocean and dominating the mouth of Sado river, the Monastery, recently restored by Fundação Oriente, hosts cultural and scientific events in a peaceful and majestic environment close to the town and harbour of Setubal.

From a nautical and historical point of view, the lower reaches of Sado river are marked by the presence of Phoenician sailors who settled up river, at Abul and Alcácer do Sal, during the second Iron Age, bringing goods as well as techniques from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. The most striking aspects regarding the archaeology of those maritime pioneers in the West are the recent finds at Cartagena, Spain, of the remains of two boat displaying sewn planking, a technique which disappeared long ago in the Iberian peninsula but which survived in several places in Asia until modern times) (Kumar , Varadarajan, 2000).


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