Thursday, November 3, 2011
0061 – Ditched enclosures at Alcalar
Alcalar partially geophysical image of a complex of gates and ditches (after Morán, 2010)
Location: Portimão municipality, Faro district, Algarve, South Portugal)
Bibliographic references: Móran, 2008; 2010.
Alcalar is a large enclosure surrounded by several necropolis, with megalithic tombs, hypogea and huge tholoi.
The general plan of the enclosures is not yet kwon. Difficult to survey, due to ownership section of the local land, some areas have been submitted to geophysical prospection, but only a few parts of the results are published and available.
One of those parts corresponds to a complex system of gates through several ditches, some of them presenting configurations (in form of “hook”) similar to the ones observed in other enclosures.
At the inside there is a concentration of pits. As usually, they were interpreted as “silos and considered to belong to a storage area. Once again, I advert to the need of not assuming pits as silos without evidence. And suggesting a storage area with just a fragment image of a large site is also a risk. If we look to Perdigões global image, and assume that the thousands of pits were silos, then Perdigões we be just a huge warehouse (and excavations are, naturally, showing a quite different situation).
Concentration of stones inside ditched (after Morán, 2008)
As to the ditches, only two segments of a wavy ditch were excavated, that had 2,5m wide at the top. Inside, concentrations of stones and some parts of animals in anatomical connection, including a complete lamb, other disperse and abundant faunal remains of vertebrates and of shells. These deposits, that in different approaches could be seen as structured depositions, were interpreted as garbage dumping from domestic units.
Supported in a materialistic approach, the site is seen by its researchers as a settlement and a political centre of a pristine form of state, from where an elite rule through coercion a vast hierarchical territory.