Tuesday, October 25, 2011

0059 – Isn’t quantity a quality?

Hundreds of pits in partial images of Xancra and Perdigões enclosures

Another astonishing difference between ditched and walled enclosures is the association to pits.

Traditionally, even when not excavated, what looks like a pit is designated by “silo”. When they are numerous they became a storage area controlled by an elite. But when excavated, usually became “silos” reused as garbage dumps or graves or something else. But the evidence that they ever stored cereal or any kind of food is rare, when we think about the number of these structures known: thousands of thousands. Maybe we should call them just pits. There is no functional interpretation involved, and then, after research and evidence, decide what else to call them.

But what is interesting, when we compared walled and ditched enclosure (the issue of my conference in Rome), is the fact that at ditched enclosures we usually found tens, hundreds, thousands of pits, and in walled enclosures we found one or two. Well, maybe three.

De difference is striking, once again, and the traditional explanation doesn’t explain. If the ditched enclosures performed the same general function of the walled enclosures, then, why the striking difference? Don´t people in walled enclosures need storing? Aren´t they exploiting the common folks and appropriate the surplus of their work? Are they not producing garbage that needs dumping?

Well, apart from the irony, the remaining fact is that the issue has not been addressed until now. And it must. Because this is a significant difference (amongst others) that suggests that walled and ditched enclosures shouldn’t be treated as simple homologies.

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