Preparing the fieldwork

Sidh Losa Mendiratta & Fernando Velho
Project: "Old Goa - Searching for the lost city."




Sidh Losa Mendiratta é nosso bolseiro de curta duração num projeto intitulado " Old Goa - Searching for the lost city", que se insere num trabalho continuado de investigação e documentação rigorosa que desenvolve há 15 anos sobre o Património de Influência Portuguesa na Índia. Sidh desenvolveu uma tese de doutoramento sobre o tema "Dispositivos do Sistema Defensivo da Província do Norte do Estado da Índia, 1521 - 1739" e desenvolve presentemente um trabalho de pós-doutoramento intitulado "Framing Identity: Architecture and cityspaces of Mumbai's catholic communities" . O investigador descreve-nos abaixo o trabalho que irá desenvolve no próximo mês de Fevereiro em Goa.
@ Shan Rodrigues, 2017



The abandoned city of Old Goa was once the Christian missionary capital of Asia, besides being the capital of the Estado da Índia. Mirroring the empire's wanes and misfortunes, the city had a slow and agonizing decline, being finally abandoned in the 1830s, when its convents were closed down. Throughout the 19th century, Old Goa was not only abandoned by its population, but its buildings were systematically dismantled, and their materials reused to build the new capital of Pangim, just a few kilometers away.





Pormenor de Velha Goa

Since the end of Portuguese rule in Goa in 1961, Old Goa has witnessed a growth both of tourism and pilgrimage. The decennial exhibitions of St. Francis Xavier have become an even more popular phenomenon, with ca. 300.000 visitors in 2014. In the last couple of decades, the abandoned city began to be rebuilt and repopulated, albeit without an integrated plan. This has led to the destruction of non-researched and unexcavated archaeological sites, and to encroachment upon classified sites, with disregard for heritage protection laws. All theses situations combined have led to a rapid deterioration of Old Goa as a World Heritage site.

The project "Old Goa - searching for the lost city", coordinated by architects Sidh Losa Mendiratta and Fernando Velho, aims at creating a digital archaeological map of Old Goa, connectable to heritage-focused databases. This digital tool will become an asset for the research and understanding of Old Goa's history. The digital map will also allow for 3D modeling and reconstitution of the Old Goa, during a second phase of the project. 




Reconstituição da fachada da Igreja do Carmo de Chimbel ( 2017)


The first tasks of the project will take place in February of 2019, with a thorough archaeological prospection of various unmapped sites in Old Goa. This prospection and fieldwork will form the basis for further surveys. At the same time, a wide range of knowledge and data connected to Old Goa will be linked and geo-referenced through the digital map, allowing us to better understand the urban growth and decadence of Old Goa, besides highlighting the most urgent threats to its built-up heritage.

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