The importance of good geophysics is evident. It can provide a global image of a site (that we can only have by traditional archaeological excavation after at least some decades) allowing the development of the scientific inquiry and research, it is not intrusive, so it doesn’t rise the problems that an excavation does, and provides a powerful planning tool (in research or impact assessment contexts).
At Perdigões, the geophysics done by Helmut Becker (Márquez-Romero et al. 2011; Valera et al., in press) is important, not just for the general interpretation of the site, but because it allows the contextualization of the excavated areas in a broader picture. Now we know exactly where we are in the site. But also important, we can plan where we want to be.
And in this year campaign, this is one of the places we want to be: the area inside Late Neolithic Ditch 6, where the geophysics showed two tiny lines that might correspond to palisades.
Fragment of the geophysics of Perdigões with the location of the area to survey
Well, we prepared the excavation by removing the ploughed upper level, and there it was: Ditch 6 and inside two smaller parallel ditches corresponding to the geophysical image (with an extra: a small pit between Ditch 6 and the first inside line). The goals, now, are characterize these structures, try to determine their functionality and date them.
Survey area, confirming the presence of the structures.
Márquez, J.E.; Valera, A.C.; Becker, H.; Jiménez, V. & Suárez, J. (2011), “El Complexo Arqueológico dos Perdigões (Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal). Prospecciones Geofísicas – Campaña 2008-09.” Trabajos de Prehistoria, Madrid.
Valera, A.C, Márquez, J.E., Becker, H., Jiménez, V. & Suárez, J. (in press B), “O Complexo Arqueológico dos Perdigões: nova imagem e novos problemas proporcionados pela prospecção geofísica” Actas do 8º Encontro de Arqueologia do Algarve, (2010), Silves.