Monday, November 28, 2011

0065 - Human remains at Zambujal enclosure

Recently, at the Rome conference, Michael Kunst provided an interesting information about the research conducted by DAI at Castro de Zambujal walled enclosure. During the study of faunal remains, about 300 human bone remains were detected.

Until now, only one structure at Leceia and another in Castelo Velho presented human remains in walled enclosures and were interpreted in quite different terms.

This new revelation at Zambujal, still to be contextualized, reinforce the idea that some ditched enclosures have already stressed: human depositions in Western Iberia Chalcolithc are a complex and diversified practice that cannot be restricted to the traditional notion of necropolis.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

0064 – A (fragmented) sequence of ditch 4 of Perdigões

Horizontal and localized depositions of stones, pottery shards and faunal remains, separated by clay deposits. At the bottom, some stone agglomeration, before a layer with calcite precipitation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

0063 - What's the meaning?

It's not from Portugal and it is not about ditched or walled enclosures, but about a famous henge. It is absolutely hilarious, but... we could do similar stuff about some of our own enclosures.
See here

Friday, November 4, 2011

0062 - Talks about Perdigões (I)


Perdigões enclosure (Reguengos de Monsaraz) is one of the important archaeological contexts of the Iberian Peninsula Recent Prehistory and on that has been researched for more than a decade.

The questions that it rises and allows to developed are of significant relevance for the knowledge of Neolithic and Chalcolithic communities as well to the development of disciplinary theoretical thinking and the social models built to deal with those societies and their historical dynamics.

Several institutions and individual researchers, national and international, participate in this open and enclosing project, known at international level. Now, ERA Arqueologia, through its research unit (NIA), decided to promote the project within the academic student community.

So, a series of talks will be promoted at ERA, regarding the research, results and problems at Perdigões. In summary, trying to present what’s is going on at this magnificent site.

Academic students are the target public, but other interest people can assist if there are available places. Attending is free, submitted to inscriptions send to the email:

The talks can be repeated at other institutions solicitation.

Talks about Perdigões (I)


18th November 2011, from 17 to 19

- Building the Research Global Program of Perdigões
- Geophysics, spatial organization and temporalities at Perdigões
- Digging ditches 1, 3, 4 and 6: problems and interpretations.

25th November 2011, from 17 to 19

- Contexts of Funerary practices at Perdigões: a Eastern Necropolis, pits, ditches and cremation deposits.
- Material culture and interregional interaction
- Perdigões in the context of south Portugal enclosures.

Local: ERA Arqueologia (Cç, Santa Catarina, 9c Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo).
Speaker: António Carlos Valera

Inscriptions (till a maximum of ten) addressed to:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

0061 – Ditched enclosures at Alcalar

Alcalar partially geophysical image of a complex of gates and ditches (after Morán, 2010)

Location: Portimão municipality, Faro district, Algarve, South Portugal)
Chronology: Chalcolithic
Bibliographic references: Móran, 2008; 2010.

Alcalar is a large enclosure surrounded by several necropolis, with megalithic tombs, hypogea and huge tholoi.

The general plan of the enclosures is not yet kwon. Difficult to survey, due to ownership section of the local land, some areas have been submitted to geophysical prospection, but only a few parts of the results are published and available.

One of those parts corresponds to a complex system of gates through several ditches, some of them presenting configurations (in form of “hook”) similar to the ones observed in other enclosures.

At the inside there is a concentration of pits. As usually, they were interpreted as “silos and considered to belong to a storage area. Once again, I advert to the need of not assuming pits as silos without evidence. And suggesting a storage area with just a fragment image of a large site is also a risk. If we look to Perdigões global image, and assume that the thousands of pits were silos, then Perdigões we be just a huge warehouse (and excavations are, naturally, showing a quite different situation).

Concentration of stones inside ditched (after Morán, 2008)

As to the ditches, only two segments of a wavy ditch were excavated, that had 2,5m wide at the top. Inside, concentrations of stones and some parts of animals in anatomical connection, including a complete lamb, other disperse and abundant faunal remains of vertebrates and of shells. These deposits, that in different approaches could be seen as structured depositions, were interpreted as garbage dumping from domestic units.

Supported in a materialistic approach, the site is seen by its researchers as a settlement and a political centre of a pristine form of state, from where an elite rule through coercion a vast hierarchical territory.