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Santo André de Almoçageme
Project for the recovery and improvement of the roman villa of Santo André de Almoçageme (Colares)

In Santo André de Almoçageme is located the westernmost villa of the Roman Empire. In the 1980s, archaeological excavations uncovered several rooms whose pavements were decorated with polychrome mosaics that indicated an occupation from the second to the sixth centuries AD. This dating was confirmed by the vast material evidence that included a large quantity of fine ceramics imported from Gaul, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Since 2007 a team from the Archaeological Museum of São Miguel de Odrinhas has been working in the villa, in the scope of a project of recovery and future monumentalization of the site.

The earliest accounts concerning the existence of archaeological remains in Santo André de Almoçageme date back to the 16th century, but it was only in 1905 – when the old pathway to Rodízio was made into an asphalt road – that the existence of roman ruins and mosaics was acknowledged, causing the intervention of the archaeologists of the Portuguese Ethnological Museum (presently the National Archaeology Museum).

The first modern excavations took place in the 1980s and exposed a large area of the main house – pars urbana – in which several rooms with mosaic pavements exist north of the peristyle; this ended up being, in fact, the largest and most important collection of mosaics ever found in the whole district of Lisbon. Still during the 1980s an area of the pars rustica was also excavated. It had been utilized for the production of ceramics, and on a later stage, after the oven and adjoining structures became derelict, at least two newborn children were buried there.

Current works, begun in 2007, are part of a plan of improvement for the site and the first stage is the restoration of the roman mosaics.

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