Magnetogram just completed and photographed on the laptop. Another lobed patterned one, and the two aligned gates are orientated at 120º, meaning winter solstice. They keep coming and confirming that prescriptions must have existed about the design and orientation of these enclosures, as I have been arguing for some time now. Work by Era Arqueologia, with geophysics by Tiago do Pereiro, assisted by me and other Era collaborators.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
A new ditched enclosure was detected just 200m north of the ditched enclosure of Xancra, in Alentejo, South Portugal. The identification was done in an aerial image from 2020 provided by Google Earth. Surface materials indicate a Copper Age chronology, jut like Xancra. The proximity is food for thought, and might corroborate the idea that many of these ditched enclosures had short lives and intermittent ones, implicating lateral displacements or overlapping construction of enclosures, which has been documented on several occasions. Work developed by the NIA-Era Arqueologia (A. Valera and T. do Pereiro).
See discussion in:
Valera, A.C., Ramos, R., Castanheira, P. (2015), “Os recintos de fossos de Coelheira 2 (Santa Vitória, Beja)”, Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património, 10, Lisboa, NIA-ERA, p.33-45.
Valera, A.C.; Pereiro, T. (2015), “Os recintos de fossos da Salvada e Monte das Cabeceiras 2 (Beja, Portugal)”, Actas do VII Encontro de Arqueologia Peninsular, Aroche-Serpa 2013, p.316-327.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
It was published a paper about the results and interpretation of the geophysics done at the Folha do Ouro 1 Chalcolithic ditched enclosure, located in Serpa, South Portugal.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
With significant repercussion in the media, the recent confirmation of a timber circle in the centre of Perdigões enclosure is, in fact, a major finding in Iberian archaeology, namely in the context of enclosure phenomena. Right in the centre of the large ditched enclosure of Perdigões (that has 450m diameter) there is this 20m diameter timber circle with several concentric rows of palisades and post alignments, with an apparent entrance aligned with the summer solstice (in the third part that has been exposed so far). The external rows have been dated between 2800-2600 BC.
It is the first monumental structure of this kind found in Iberia and its closest parallels are in central Europe or in YK. Which brings immediately the question of what does this find means: something unique or just a point of an unsuspected iceberg?
Independently of that, this structure confirms some earlier findings that indicate that in Iberia there was also and important prehistoric architecture in wood (and not just in stone and earth), some of them were already presented in this blog (see Outeiro Alto 2 or Estácio 6). It also reaffirms the ceremonial status of Perdigões enclosures and the significance of the centre of that natural amphitheatre, that present a recurrent with ceremonial architectures and practices during the 3rd millennium BC.In the left, the third exposed of the timber circle; in the right, the projection of that third to have a glimpse over the dimension of the structure.
A first partial interpretative proposal.
Monday, August 10, 2020
Another ditched enclosure was identified and prospected within the scope of the NIA-Era investigation of ditched enclosures enclosures in Alentejo. With the logistical support of the Municipality of Serpa, the geophysical prospecting of this enclosure was made, which, being larger than previously thought, was not fully covered by the prospected area. The results, interpretation and contextualization are in the press in the proceedings of the next congress of the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists: "The enclosure of Folha do Ouro 1 (Serpa) in the context of the Alentejo calcolitic moat enclosures", by António Carlos Valera, Tiago do Pereiro, Pedro Valério and António Monge Soares. Besides Tiagome and Tiago (responsible for geophysics), Nelson Almeida and Ana Catarina Basílio participated in the fieldwork. This is the 13th ditched enclosure magnetogram produced in the context of this research program.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Like other Chalcolithic enclosures, Perdigões has several contexts where dogs or parts of dogs were deposited. From burials, to the depositions of skulls, mandibles or parts of limbs, dogs represent a specific type of deposition of animal remains at the site. Recent isotopic studies carried on in a project funded by Portuguese Science Foundation (developed by Era Arqueologia, ICArEHB-UAlg and Hércules-UÉvora) show that humans and dogs had similar diets (with dogs in the same trophic level of humans), showing an already well-established proximity between them in social terms.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Monday, April 13, 2020
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Friday, March 27, 2020
Monday, March 23, 2020
In this new web-page there is a lot of information about Perdigões ditched enclosure: research organisation, team, projects, structures, archaeological materials, main excavated contexts, bibliography, isotopic and radiocarbon data bases, etc. Explore it here.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Monday, March 16, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Sunday, February 23, 2020
I thank to Gábor Szilagyi for bring to my attention these fantastic African sinuous enclosures, that present some similarities with the Prehistoric ones of the Guadiana basin. It is possible that there is here food for a project in comparative Archaeology.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
This is not a funerary pit, but a pit related to the ritual (involving the braking of the transportation pots) performed in that area regarding the human cremated remains.
The big pot:
Removing the shards in their stratigraphic sequence:
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Friday, February 7, 2020
Last campaign at Perdigões we initiated a project to value the effort involved in the digging of ditches at the site. The goal is to estimate, in more solid grounds, the amount of work involved in opening ditches, namely the relation between time / number of workers / excavated volume. We aim to have a better understanding of the social, logistic and economic impact of the big public enterprises that took place at Perdigões.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Sunday, December 22, 2019
Monday, December 16, 2019
To be download here.
Thursday, December 5, 2019
To be downloaded here.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
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..
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Saturday, August 24, 2019
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
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
Friday, June 21, 2019
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.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Sunday, April 14, 2019
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
Friday, February 1, 2019
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
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Friday, December 28, 2018
It is important to do, at least, some geophysics there before the plantation.
Friday, December 21, 2018
This is another situation of a Chalcolithic ditched enclosure, with at least three concentric ditches, detected in Google Earth and published and reported to the Municipal Plan, that was recently affected by the preparation of the field for another plantation of intensive exploitation (almonds or olive trees).
Heritage is being destroyed at an impressive rhythm in Alentejo.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Thursday, November 22, 2018
You may find it here.
Sunday, November 11, 2018
My contribution: Death in the Occident Express: reasons for a social collapse in the end of the 3rd millennium BC in Iberia Southwest.