Tuesday, September 6, 2011

0046 – Geophysics and archaeoastronomy of prehistoric ditched enclosures

This project developed by NIA-ERA and financed by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian is reaching its final steps (it’s a two years project – 2010-2011).

The main goal was to analyse and establish the astronomic foundations of the architectonic design of several Portuguese Neolithic and Chalcolithic enclosures through their plans obtained by geophysics. The project, led by me, counted with the participation of Helmut Becker (as responsible for the geophysics) and Gracia Rodriguez e Javier Mejuto from Madrid Complutense University (responsible for the astronomic research). This general approach is absolutely new in Iberia regarding enclosures.

The ditched enclosures submitted to geophysics were: Moreiros 2; Xancra; Monte do Olival 1; Pombal; Luz 20. To these five sites three other were added: Perdigões (with its integral geophysics) and Santa Vitória and Outeiro Alto 2 (with their plans known through excavation). The preliminary results of the project will be soon presented in two meetings.

At the IX Iberian Congress of Archaeometry (ICA), to be held in Lisbon next October, in the section dedicated to geophysics, a communication and two posters will be presented:

“Magnetometry of Recent Prehistory ditch enclosures and Archaeoastronomy: results of a ongoing project” (António Carlos Valer, Helmut Becker, Javier Mejuto & Gracia Rodriguez)

“Moreiros 2 (Arronches, Évora): magnetometry of a complex ditch and palisade enclosure” (Helmut Becker, António Carlos Valera & Rui Boaventura) - Poster

“Xancra (Cuba, Beja): magnetometry of a possible prehistoric calendar” (Helmut Becker & António Carlos Valera) - Poster.

At the “Star and Stones” meeting dedicated to archaeoastronomy, to be held in Évora this September, we will present a paper:

“Ditcehd enclosures in Southern Portugal: an archaeoastronomical point of view of portuguese Neolithic and Chalcolithic (J. Mejuto, A. Valera, G. Rodríguez-Caderot & Helmut Becker)

Next year a monographic publication will be edited. But some papers are already available:

VALERA, António Carlos e BECKER, Helmut (2011), “Cosmologia e recintos de fossos da Pré-História Recente: resultados da prospecção geofísica em Xancra (Cuba, Beja)”, Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património, 7, Lisboa, NIA-ERA, p.23-32.

Valera, A. Carlos e Becker, Helmut (in print), “Arqueoastronomia, geofísica e recintos de
fossos da Pré-História Recente no Sul de Portugal”, Xelb. Actas do 8º Encontro de Arqueologia
do Algarve, Silves, C.M.S.

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