The Centro Português de Actividades Subaquáticas (CPAS) keeps in its stores several finds recovered in the Cape Verde archipelago in the 60's and 70's decades from the last century. Among these are what seems to be the remains of a shipwreck found in an underwater context off Ponta do Leme Velho in the far southern side of the Salt Island. In 1973 while recovering a copper cargo from a 20th century ship wrecked in the same site the explosives used revealed a previous ship cargo with some dozens of Portuguese faience plates and bowls, many of them fully decorated in blue and purple, beads and several metallic objects including a set of copper manillas. The pottery presents numerous shapes with an evident preponderance of open forms with plates and bowls. The fabrics present a light buff color very similar to the Lisbon productions with a fine quality glaze. Concerning decorations half concentric circles, aranhões and baroque garlands were used to decorate the ledge of plates and the wall of bowls. The central bottom presents flowers decorations, anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, spirals, the Santiago sword and cross, letters, coats of arms such as the Negreiros and the Silva families. The majority of the objects are decorated in blue followed by decorations in blue and purple and only one bowl presents exclusively purple decoration. The beads in blue and white are of a very small size, mostly made of vitreous paste. The metal commodities are mostly buckles but also a caldron handle, part of a sword and ammunition. The pottery decorations and shapes suggest that this collection was produced somewhere between 1660 and 1700 with very well dated parallels in cities such as Silves, Lisbon and London but also in other shipwrecks such as the Galeão Sacramento wrecked off Bahia or the Santo António de Tanná, wrecked off Quenia, near Mombaça. Nevertheless other objects in the Ponta do Leme Velho site, such as the silver tastevin in silver with the makers' mark, narrow the chronology between 1680 and 1700. Crossing archaeological and documentary evidences the authors believe that this is the site of a 1694 shipwreck which was taking slaves and other European commodities towards Brazil. It's of general knowledge that many ships involved in the slave trade would pass through Cape Verde, load this cargo and other goods and sail towards Brazil. This research is the result of a cooperation protocol made between CPAS and the authors in 2008.
|Place of Publication||Lisboa|
|Publisher||Instituto de Arqueologia e Paleociências|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|