Sunday, May 15, 2011
0001 - Xancra Ditched Enclosure
Location: (Cuba municipality, Beja district, Alentejo, South Portugal)
Chronology: Chalcolithic (Based on surface materials)
Bibliographic references: Valera & Becker, 2011.
I start with the amazing site of Xancra. It was discovered in Google Earth and submitted to geophysical prospecting in the context of the research project ”Ditched Enclosures Plans and Neolithic Cosmologies: a landscape, archaeoastronomic and geophysical approach”, financed by the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foudation.
Its three ring enclosures have entrances aligned and orientated to Winter solstice, revealing the cosmological foundation of the design of the set of enclosures. This idea is reinforced by topographical location, since the site is in the middle of a slope (eastern orientated) and not at the top.
The number of semicircular elements that compose the ditches suggest that architecture incorporates a moon calendar, since their number is quite coincident with moon phases, days and months.