Friday, February 10, 2012
0078 - Ditches and palisades
This association is frequently assumed for ditched enclosures, but is rarely demonstrated. In what concerns Portuguese enclosures, we have some short notice on a possible inside palisade in Juromenha Neolithic ditched enclosure and we have the images of the inner enclosure of Perdigões (see here) and of some of the lines of Moreiros (see here) that suggest the existence of palisades. But, for the majority of sites already excavated or prospected by geophysical methods, that evidence is missing and the available data does not allow generalised positive statements about the association of palisades to ditches (and even less of earth banks).
Nevertheless, some sites do suggest that association. One of those sites is Senhora da Alegria, where a larger ditch seems to be associated to a smaller one that runs in parallel, and could be an infrastructure to support a palisade. This is not clear yet, for sometimes the smaller ditch seems to slightly overcome the bigger one, but that could be related to readjustments in time and the hypothesis remains.
Those structures are from a Late Neolithic and generally contemporaneous of the others ditched enclosures that also suggest, as referred above, the presence of palisades. But the Chalcolithic ones do not present the same evidence. Has this association a chronological significance? A question to have in mind.