While looking for the first hermitage built in the area, archaeologists working in Algarve, Portugal, found a medieval Christian necropolis and an earlier Islamic settlement.
Excavations in the past had revealed the remains of what researchers thought was the hermitage of Our Lady of Martyrs, the first hermitage established in the territory after the Christian conquest. However, when they dug a bit more they found the walls were part of an Islamic bath, which had been later covered by a medieval Christian necropolis.
The cemetery was used until the 15th or 16th century and its precise boundaries are not quite clear. It is rather large with many burials and the Islamic settlement beneath it stretches to the entire area, although again its boundaries are not clear neither.
The discovery indicates that future research and excavations need to take place at the site so that more conclusions can be drawn as to the people who lived there and their way of life.