Image of the wall structures on Fonte Quente (taken from Batata & Borges, 2011)
Location: Tomar municipality, Santarém district, Central Portugal)
Bibliographic references: Oosterbeek, 1994; Batata & Borges, 2011.
Known since the early times of the XX century, and with several interventions along that century, the Fonte Seca site was recently submitted to a large area excavation, due to the construction of a highway (Batata & Borges, 2011). This last intervention revealed a large walled enclosure. According to the excavators, it is now one of the biggest of Central Portugal, with an estimated area around 20ha.
Three walls were detected, some with semi circular bastions. Metal artefacts and evidences of copper metallurgy were also recorded as well as beaker pottery and schist plaques with geometric decoration (typical of Alentejo region, but also present in the Tejo valley).
In an earlier survey (Oosterbeek, 1994) one radiocarbon date was associated to one of the walls: 3790+/-120BP. Calibrated at 2σ, and due to its large standard deviation, this date presents a huge interval between 2600 – 1850 cal BC, but that goes well with the later materials, like the beaker pottery.
OOSTERBEEK, Luiz (1994) – Echoes from the east: the Western Network – North Ribatejo (Portugal): an insight to unequal and combined development, 7000 – 2000 B.C., University College London, Institute of Archaeology.
BATATA, C. & BORGES, N. (2011), “A importância da Fonte Quente enquanto “Lugar Central” no contexto do povoamento Pré-Histórico do Alto Ribatejo, durante a Pré-História Recente”, Resumo dos trabalhos de escavação arqueológica realizados no decorrer da empreitada do Sublanço do IC9 – Nó de Carregueiros / Tomar, E.P. Estradas de Portugal.