The ‘Integrated Project for the Refurbishment and Redevelopment of the City of Horta's Waterfront’ involves the creation of a new port terminal to the north of Horta bay. The works started in May 2009 and include the modification of an over 170,000m2 area, with the construction of a breakwater/wharf and the dredging of a manoeuvring basin and ditches for the foundations of the breakwaters. Since 2008, CHAM has been conducting an intervention to mitigate the impacts on underwater cultural heritage, consisting of several phases to be implemented before, during and after the construction works.
The initial phase of this study, carried out in 2008, included a visual and metal detector archaeological survey of the entire area affected by the construction of the Horta Bay passenger terminal, north of the existing harbour. Several remains were identified, among which several cannons, an ivory tusk and lead artefacts, scattered over a vast area. During the second phase, between April 2009 and July 2010, the intervention included the testing, excavation and removal of the remains, leading to the identification of Baía da Horta 1 (BH-001), a shipwreck site featuring remains scattered over a vast area, at depths between eight and eleven metres. BH-001 yielded materials related to the cargo, the operation and the daily life on board, such as iron artillery pieces, firearms, pottery, glassware and metallic or wooden objects and, above all, an extraordinary assemblage of elephant tusks. The study of this collection is indicative of an early 18th-century merchant ship, possibly British, operating in the Atlantic.
CHAM also monitored the dredging works carried out as part of the construction works. Monitoring of the remains relocated away from the project area is also planned.
Principal Investigator: José António Bettencourt (CHAM)
- Administração dos Portos do Triângulo e Grupo Ocidental, SA
- Secretaria Regional da Educação e Cultura / Governo dos Açores
Main Research Unit
- CHAM — Centro de Humanidades / Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas/Universidade Nova de Lisboa | Universidade dos Açores
José António Bettencourt . Coordenador
Cristóvão Fonseca (CHAM)
Patrícia Carvalho (CHAM)
Christelle Chouzenoux (CHAM)
Tiago Silva (CHAM)