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Roman Tanks de Angeiras e Villa do Fontão

Buried under the sands of the beach of Angeiras, is located one of the most important archaeological sites, from Roman times, in the north of Portugal. It is a magnificent example of Roman industrial architecture and, together with some similar examples identified in Póvoa de Varzim, constitute a set of cetarias, dating from the period of the Lower Roman Empire (4th – 5th century), unique in the northern region. It is made up of six sets of tanks, with a total of 32 specimens, rectangular and trapezoidal in shape, excavated in the rocky outcrop and dispersed over about 600 meters along the sand of Angeiras beach. These tanks were used for salting fish or for the production of other types of fish preserves that were very popular in Roman times, such as garum (a paste resulting from the maceration of different species of fish and molluscs with wine, olive oil and other products). Artificial tanks were also identified with a pavement composed of pebbles and clay and delimited by walls built with granite slabs, pebbles and clay. These structures were used to extract salt from sea water. it is also probable that there were other cetarias built in clay, of which some fragments have appeared, similarly to what is observed, for example, in Tróia. These structures seem to date from a late period of Romanization (3rd – 4th century AD).

Between the back of the parish church of Lavra and the beach, there are still the remains of an important archaeological site that was the central nucleus of the settlement of this parish during the Roman period. It is an old Roman villa. Although this station has not yet had systematic excavations, several elements have occasionally appeared that indicate that there was a relatively important archaeological site here, namely the remains of a mosaic and various ceramics (which were deposited in the 40s) in the Museum of Ethnology of the Harbor. Other elements have occasionally been collected and are deposited in the Museu Paroquial Padre Ramos. This site was of great importance during the Suevic-Visigothic period (5th – 7th century AD), which is evident notably in the fact that it is one of the parishes mentioned in the Suevic Parochiale and in a document from the end of the 19th century. IX to refer to the existence of a monastery in Lavra “of ancient foundation”. The settlement of this part of the parish is, however, much older, dating back to the first prehistoric communities of farmers and shepherds from the 3rd millennium BC. evident in the remains of megalithic monuments identified in the place of Antela. Also in this place, in surveys carried out in 2004 by the Municipal Office of Archeology and History of the Câmara de Matosinhos, vestiges of a prehistoric village were identified, which were dated approximately between 2500 and 1500 BC. The salting tanks at Praia de Angeiras are classified as a National Monument by Dec. 251/70 of 3 June.

Address: Av. da Praia de Angeiras, Lavra

Contact: 22 928 5418


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