Friday, June 3, 2011

0021 - Digging at Perdigões 1

Next month I’ll be back to Perdigões, continuing the excavations in the central area (the NIA-ERA Arqueologia project and the project on funerary practices supported by FCT, where NIA-ERA has the collaboration of the Anthropology Department of University of Coimbra and the Nuclear Technological Institute).

There, we have the inner ditch from Late Neolithic (with several pits and ovens) and a possible palisade canal. As is clearly seen in the geophysics, in the area of excavation a large circular “structure” slightly cuts the inside part of the ditch. This cutting was done in Chacolithic times, and several deposits and structures are filling that circular “something”. One of those structures is a pit filled with deposits of human cremations done elsewhere. Other structure with burned human bones was detected nearby and will be excavated this year. The sequence ends in the Eastside of the surveyed area, with a large circular stone structure (not yet completely defined), apparently associated to beaker pottery and other pottery shapes that suggest a Late Chalcolitic / Early Bronze Age.

So, in the same small area (of 180m2), we have an interval of occupations of 1000 to 1500 years, with very different uses and structures, revealing how complex is the sites and how cautious we must be in the interpretation of the geophysical image. “Putting time” in those endless structures is one of the most important tasks of the next... shell we say... decades (if we have in mind the almost 20 hectares of site).

Valera, António Carlos (2010), "Construção da temporalidade dos Perdigões: contextos neolíticos da área central", Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património, 5, Lisboa, NIA-ERA Arqueologia, p. 19-26.

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