A Place of History: Archaeology and Heritage at Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Christopher Evans and Konstantin Richter

in Slavery in Africa

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264782
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754012 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

A Place of History: Archaeology and Heritage at Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

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Early depictions of Cidade Velha's sear-frontage show a thriving, well-appointed and heavily fortified town with architectural aspirations: ships ride at anchor, the cathedral and Bishop's Palace can be seen below the plateau-top fort on the east side of the valley, the harbour is ringed with batteries, behind which poke a number of two-storey residences and church towers. The crucial point is that, as the early capital of the Cape Verde Islands, located some 350 nautical miles off the West African coast and being Portugal's main transshipment centre for the trans-Atlantic trade, all this was carried on a slavery-based infrastructure. This chapter consists of three parts. First it outlines the history of slavery from a Cape Verdean perspective. Second, it discusses interviews conducted with the local residents as they indicate how the past of slavery may affect contemporary attitudes and the values associated with the historical remains. Third, it provides a brief summary of the archaeological work started in Cidade Velha.

Keywords: Cape Verde; Cidade Velha; contemporary attitudes; Portugal

Chapter.  8259 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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