Saturday, November 16, 2019

0427 - Borralhos ditched enclosure

Borralhos ditched enclosure was detected in Google satellite images in the context of the research developed by NIA-ERA (the research unit of ERA Arqueologia SA) regarding the prehistoric ditched enclosures in South Portugal. In that same research context geophysics was done. The Nia-Era team, with Taigo do Pereiro, António Valera and Ana Catarina Basílio, did the geophysics of the site with a fantastic result. The magnetogram was first published here and was also presented at the last Iberian Southwest Archaeology  Meeting (held in Zafra, 2018). Its detailed description and archaeological interpretation will be published soon. But this is one more fantastic image of a fantastic enclosure, resulting from personal and institutional commitments that, with a scientific agenda, are simultaneously trying to save this kind of  heritage that is threatened by the savage agricultural practices that are transforming (razing?) Alentejo landscapes.
There is some irony here. Agriculture was related to their origins and agriculture is now related to their destruction. Hopefully, this one will be saved. But apart from that, the image is already material for research, being used by the team to question some specifics of the Prehistoric ditched enclosures of the Guadiana basin in coming talks and publications..


Part of the magnetogram of Borralhos, done by the NIA-Era team.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

0426 - Publication: Cardim 6 - a tholos from the enclosure of Porto Torrão

The study of Cardim 6, a tholos belonging to the complex of ditched enclosures of Porto Torrão (Ferreira do Alentejo, Beja) is published and available for free download here.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

0425 - Portuguese enclosures in meeting

A meeting to commemorate the classification of Perdigões enclosure as National Monument will be held at Carmo Museum in Lisbon next November 23. Here is the program.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

0424 - The (new) twilight of enclosures


A couple of years ago I wrote a paper about the twilight of prehistoric enclosures (see here). It was about the end of enclosures in the late 3rd millennium BC. We are again in the 3rd millennium, now AC, and the enclosures (as heritage) are vanishing again, now at the hands of intensive agriculture. Three more were recently affected or destroyed: Nobre, Folha do Ouro and the large complex of enclosures of Herdade da Corte. 


Folha do Ouro (Serpa)


Herdade da Corte (Serpa)


Nobre 2 (Beja)

The administration continues to do almost nothing, and the silence is general. We are at un elections campaign, but nobody brings up the issue of the systematic destruction of archaeological heritage in Alentejo region. We are only concerned with the destruction of our dreams for the future and seems there is no room for a concern with historical memories. It would be an irony if it wasn’t simply stupidity. As if we could dream without a memory.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

0423 - Back to Santa Vitória enclosure


Entering the inner ditched enclosure of Santa Vitória. Flight done in the end of the last campaign (2018) by Era Arqueologia. 

Next Monday the Era Arqueologia team will be back to the second campaign of the new research project in Santa Vitória (see project goals here), directed by A.C. Valera and A.C. Basílio. The project is developed by Era Aqueologia, with the logistic support of the Municipality of Campo Maior and the institutional collaboration of Direcção Regional de Cultura do Alentejo.

Monday, August 19, 2019

0422 - A Continental Beaker (influence) in Perdigões?

From the later contexts in the central area of the enclosures, this beaker with a high profile and an unseen decoration (circular jagged impressions, almost as stamps) presents a stylistic proximity to some continental beakers, namely in the shape.


Similar high profiles are not common in Iberia, but some are known, also with unused decorations in the walled enclosure of Fraga da Pena (Beira Alta, Central Portugal) with a similar chronology (end of the 3rd millennium BC).


Mobility comes to mind.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

0421 - A timber circle in the centre of Perdigões enclosure

Perdigões central enclosure (timber circle). Unique in Iberia, this structure recently identified reinforces the importance of this National Monument that has been in research by Era Arqueologia for the last 20 years.


Friday, June 21, 2019

0420 - New image of ditches at Porto Torrão


The overlapping of two different images allowed the identification of several sections of ditches in the large archaeological complex of Porto Torrão (Ferreira do Alentejo, Beja). Some are the continuation of ditches already surveyed (dotted lines), but others correspond to new ditches that define central enclosures, where at least one gate is visible.

This image was published in the book dedicated to the tholoi tomb of Cardim 6, available for download here.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

0417 - New campaign at Perdigões enclosure


Is now in course the 2019 campaign of excavations at Perdigões enclosures. You may follow the news here.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

0416 - Talk about the dramatic situation of Portuguese Ditched Enclosures


Next week, in Serpa (Alentejo, South Portugal), I will be speaking about the actual situation of Portuguese Ditched Enclosure in the region, where these sites have their major concentration and reach the higher monumentality in Portugal.
It is an event integrated in the commemoration of the  International day of Monuments and Sites, that, unfortunately, we have to use to show what we don't do and should be doing regarding heritage preservation.
I will be talking about the drama that Prehistoric ditched enclosures are facing. They represented the social trajectory of Neolithic communities until the end of the 3rd millennium BC, when this path collapsed and ditched enclosures with it. They didn't do well with the transition from the 3rd to the 2nd millennium BC.
Well, again, they are not doing well with another millennium transition, now from the 2nd to the 3rd millennium AC. In Alentejo, they were born with agriculture (not out of agriculture, as some argue), and their archaeological remains are now being destroyed by it.
I will try to show their historical, cultural and social value, and show that are several that still can be saved from the cultural, social, environmental and heritage disaster that is happening in Alentejo, sponsored by the Portuguese Government.

Monday, March 18, 2019

0415 - New image on Folha do Ouro ditched enclosure

This new areal image of Folha do Ouro enclosure, located in Serpa municipality, Alentejo, South Portugal, shows a magnificent enclosure. This enclosure was detected in google earth and published by me and Tiago do Pereiro in 2013. It has now a clearer image, that shows that it is also a sinuous ditched enclosure, similar to Xancra, Outeiro Alto 2, Santa Vitória and the recently submitted to geophysics Borralhos. They all show this pattern of regular sinuous ditched that are a characteristic of the design of the Guadiana Basin ditched enclosures.


Friday, February 1, 2019

0414 - Human bones in ditches

It has just been published a paper about the deposition of human remains in ditches during Recent Prehistory in South Portugal, centered in the case of Perdigões, but integrating it in the Iberian context.
It is a chapter of the book Fragmentation and Depositions in Pre and Proto-Historic Portugal that can be download here: http://www.nia-era.org/publicacoes/cat_view/4-outras-publicacoes


Thursday, January 10, 2019

0413 - Perdigões enclosure is a National Monument

Perdigões  is the first prehistoric ditched enclosure to be classified as a National Monument in Portugal. After 21 years of continuous research, the site and the knowledge that has been produced about it, have finally received the recognition of the Portuguese state. In a period when many prehistoric ditched enclosures are being affected by agriculture in Alentejo region, this is a light.





Sunday, January 6, 2019

0412 - Perdigões publication


It was published the volume 1 of the series of monographs of Perdigões ditched enclosure. It reports only to the Neolithic phase of the site. It can be download here.