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Brokers of ChangeAtlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa$
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Toby Green

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265208

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.001.0001

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An Early Christian Church in the Tropics: Excavation of the N.ª S.ª da Conceição, Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

An Early Christian Church in the Tropics: Excavation of the N.ª S.ª da Conceição, Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Chapter:
(p.172) (p.173) 7 An Early Christian Church in the Tropics: Excavation of the N.ª S.ª da Conceição, Cidade Velha, Cape Verde
Source:
Brokers of Change
Author(s):

CHRISTOPHER EVANS

MARIE-LOUISE STIG SØRENSEN

KONSTANTIN RICHTER

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.003.0008

This chapter concerns what is arguably one of the first European-built Christian churches in the Tropics, the N.a S.a da Conceição, in Ribeira Grande (now known as Cidade Velha), the former capital of the Cape Verde Islands. It briefly covers the early history of the town and then proceeds to consider its earliest church. The evidence of historical documents is first outlined, and thereafter the results from the first explorative archaeological investigations focussed on the physical remains of the building are summarised. The excavations were successful in locating the early church, which can now be reconstructed as a large, one-and-a-half or two storey high, east‐west oriented building with a vaulted side-chapel on its northern side and buttressed corners on its western façade. Two tombstones found in situ within the floor confirm that the building dates to, at least, the early 16th century.

Keywords:   Cidade Velha, Cape Verde, archaeology, slavery, early Christian church, excavation

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