Archaeological findings

Thousands of fragments of ballistic pieces, ceramic and stone objects, metal and bone were found in the excavations conducted by CEAM (Centre of Studies of Modern and Contemporary Archaeology) in the Fort of São José which is situated by the pier of Funchal. In a public appearance a propos the archaeological findings, Élvio Sousa, spokesperson and archaeologist for CEAM, affirmed that the interior of the Fort, which passes unperceivable for its external features, “reserves a great patrimonial interest”.

In accordance with the archaeologist, the pieces found may soon reveal some very important details of town life, on this island, in the past.

Élvio Sousa further highlighted the fact that the Fort of São José was the very first Fort to be scientifically excavated in Madeira and moreover, “it possesses a great interest, when it all boils down to the patrimonial standpoint of things“, unlike some opinions that affirm that it holds no value whatsoever.

Amongst the pieces exhumed there exists one in particular which stands out from the rest and which basically consists of a recipient that was used for ballistic fabrication such as bullets and canon balls. Other findings include pipe-like cylinders used for smoking, an array of bone-made buttons and inimitable trinkets made of fish spine.

The objects will, in the near future, be on public display at the Fort of São José. Its proprietor, Renato Barros, intends to convert the Fort into a museum. Though the Fort bears significant historical importance, the property nevertheless, has never been regarded or classified as a museum.

Renato Barros affirmed that he has no recollection whatsoever of having ever received from any government official any additional information regarding the Fort’s categorization as an “establishment of artistic, historic, or scientific interest…” Renato Barros concluded by adding that he has serious doubts of whether the classification will bring surplus value to the Fort.

(Renato Barros has provided us with this article)

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