Friday, January 6, 2012
0069 - Topographical differences
I’m now writing the paper presented at the Rome conference, where the main issue was to compare ditched and walled enclosures in South Portugal, since they share the same general space and time.
I centred my analyses in eight aspects: tendency for architectonic separation; topographical location; dimensions; design ; architectonic dynamics and associated practices, cosmological foundation of architecture; relation to funerary practices; practice of metallurgy. Some of these items were already discussed here (dimension, presence of pits).
Today I would like to draw the attention to the topographical differences between the locations of this to kind of architectures. Those differences can be expressed as a more homogeneous location strategy for walled enclosures that prefers exclusively hill tops (or cliff edges or high rocky tors in central and north Portugal), and a more diversified location for ditched enclosures. We can find them also on hill tops (Santa Vitória, Outeiro Alto 2), but they can be in the middle of smooth slops (Xancra, Monte do Olival), in natural amphitheatres (Perdigões, Paraiso), in large valleys (Porto Torrão) or spread from small and flat hill tops, through the slops and to the lower ground (Moreiros 2).
In fact, ditched enclosures do not reveal a particular standard pattern of location. By the contrary, they relate themselves with the landscape in diverse ways, although we can observe some tendencies, like the interest of building facing east (frequently with gates astronomically orientated).
This difference between ditched and walled enclosures is just one amongst others, suggesting that, in general, they didn’t serve exactly the same purposes or, at least, that those architectures were responding and were related to specific practices that were not shared by both.