Thursday, December 27, 2012

0138 - Ditches and pollen

The pollen record is one of the documents available for the knowledge of ancient landscapes and environments. The approach to these “documents” is always problematic, for post depositional events of taphonomic origin can be of significant interference.

Well ditches, as a receptor, can be an important kind of context to provide good results in this kind of approach to ancient landscapes and to human interaction with them. Naturally, as all contexts, ditches have their problems. Natural problems, like the fact that they are drains (intended or not) or recipients of erosion, but also cultural ones, such as the intentional nature of the fillings, interfere in the “construction” of the pollen record. But, nevertheless, these “negative contexts” are particular important for their particular conditions of sedimentation and preservation.          

So, in Perdigões, after a first test (Wheeler, 2010), we initiated a project, in the context of the program of IGESPAR for “Archaeosciences” (2012), to use these “documents” in the reconstruction of local and regional flora landscapes, to infer about the human strategies regarding the exploitation of that environment and start to have a notion of the human impact in it.

Sample in ditch 6
The Perdigões site is particular interesting for this kind of approach, since have ditch structures dating from a time span of almost 1500 years. That could provide an important record of the evolution of local and regional landscapes and of human strategies of use of those territories.

The systematic sample collection started this year: in ditches 6, 8 and 12.

Bibliographic References:
Wheeler, Jane (2010), "Paleoenvironmental assessment of two archaeological sediments from Perdigões, Alentejo region, Portugal", Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património, 6, Lisboa, NIA-ERA Arqueologia, p.41-45. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

0137 – Enclosing is also "protecting" the outside

This is an approach that hasn’t have the sufficient attention by the approaches to Iberian (and in the case of this blog, Portuguese) ditched enclosures.

The term enclosure tends to compel the idea of keeping something protected, saved, restricted inside a boundary. This perception became almost an axiomatic approach to enclosures. By default, when we see a boundary, we tend to assume that someone is trying to protect something inside from dangers or practices from outside.

Well, Richard Bradley came out with an interesting perspective to British henges. This kind of enclosures have an inside ditched surrounded by an outside bank. Bradley noticed the inversion of the “defensive” strategy: the bank, that should be inside of the ditch to defend the inside space, was, in fact, outside the ditch. He, then, suggests that henges are not trying to keep something out, but trying to keep something in. Whatever was occurring there, was supposed to be restrain in that inner space and not affect the wider outside.

This is an interesting perspective to apply to Portuguese ditched enclosures, although they differ a lot from the British henges.

Let’s look at the image of Xancra, for instance. The small inside enclosure, except for a possible central pit, seems to be clean. In the middle enclosures we have already several pits, especially four big ones that seem to form a square.  And in the outside enclosure there is an amount of pits. This suggests that enclosures have a double function: preserve some things inside and keep others outside.

But usually we tend to look at this and value more the idea of preservation inside as a protection of what happens there. But the inversion of this way of reasoning alert us to the possibility that the purpose could be to keep something restricted inside, kipping the outside free from it.

Let’s think about the actual cemetery walls. Who do they protect?  Those inside or those outside?

This perspective about British henges has a lot of potential and should be added to the inquiry and to the hermeneutic tools we use to deal with the phenomenon of enclosures in Iberia in general, and to some of those enclosures in particular.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

0136 – Enclosures as funerary chambers ?

That seems to be the case of the inside small ditched enclosure of Bela Vista 5. The small enclosure has inside just one pit used to bury a woman, together with three pots, a pricker and a “Palmela” arrow head (so much for the “male worrier” theory for “Ferradeira horizon” graves). It is dated from the last quarter of the third millennium BC, contemporaneous of the process of the filling of the ditch.

It is interesting to notice that the pit grave is not at the centre of this small enclosure, just with 6/7 m diameter, but in a side, like it frequently happens in megalithic chambers. In fact, the all context, announcing a new world with new perspectives regarding individuality, steel suggests a memory of Neolithic times, inclusive with evidences of body manipulation after the first deposition. The inner enclosure seems to have been built to receive this grave, and the outside ditch reveals practices that can only be understood in the context of a highly ceremonial activity (see previous post on Bela Vista 5).

All of this for one woman? If so, she was an important one, no doubt.

PS – The data from this sites and reflexions on the problems that it raises will be presented next February, in ERA annual meeting. Monographic publication will follow.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

0135 - Temporalities

This is one of the most important issues in the approaches to ditched enclosures, especially to the big ones, that present a large time span.

At Perdigões, a set of 34 radiocarbon dates will be soon published, showing that the site lived for almost 1500 years and that its area and layout has changed through that period of time.

These kinds of programs are needed to deal with sites that have long duration, avoiding the traps of dealing with them as a whole. Did Perdigões started as a small Neolithic enclosure that gradually grew? Well, the actual data seems to suggest so. But that suggestion needs confirmation, because outer ditches still to be excavated and dated.

Nevertheless, the actual available radiocarbon and archaeological data clearly shows that there is a long biography of Perdigões. To understand the site’s social role (or social roles) is to understand that biography.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

0134 – European flavour

The continuous discovery of ditched enclosures in South Portugal brings the region closer to the standards of some European regions: in numbers (at the moment, 35 confirmed just at South of Tagus river) but also in some morphologies. In fact, until recently, the known Portuguese ditched enclosures (those with plans well known) presented designs quite particular to the region (especially the sinuous patterned ones). But, like in Central Europe or Britain, exact geometric circles started to appear and now what seems to be a perfect ellipse.

Here is this new Chalcolithic context, named Montoito because is near Montoito village, Évora district (discovered in Google by Tiago do Pereiro and confirmed by me), compared with the perfect ellipse of Meisternthal in Germany (magnetogram from Helmut Becker).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

0133 – Murteira 6

Ditch A from Murteira 6 (after Porfírio et al, 2012)

Location: Beja municipality, Beja district, Alentejo, South Portugal)
Chronology: Chalcolithic

Bibliographic references: Porfírio et al. 2012.

At Murteira 6 four sections of small ditches (0,40 to 0,70 m deep by 0,80 to 1,20m wide) were surveyed. At least two ditch sections are crossing, with one overlapping the other. No general plan is available yet, so the layouts of the ditches are not known. Archaeological materials point to a Chalcolithic chronology, probably of the first half of the third millennium BC.

Enclosures defined by small ditches (some can be infrastructures of palisades) are known in several other sites, like Torrão, the ditches 5 and 12 of Perdigões, the ditch 2 of Ponte da azambuja, or some of the ditches of Senhora da Alegria. All of these examples, though, date from Neolithic. Murteira 6 apparently shows, for the first time, very small ditches dating from Chalcolithic.    

Plan of the ditches at Murteira 6 (after Porfírio et al, 2012)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

0131 - Enclosures in meetings

The enclosures of Senhora da Alegria (left) and Bela Vista 5 (right) will have their first public presentations next February, in the annual meeting of ERA Arqueologia. The first site have an important sequence from Early Neolithic to Late Neolithic (and some punctual occupations afterwards); the second is from the beginning of Bronze Age and presents a ceremonial context in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic tradition.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

0130 - And another new big one

It is almost a Christmas present. Thanks Tiago.

This is another find of a relatively large ditched enclosure (about 350 meters diameter) in Beja District. By South Iberia standards, it is of medium size, a little bit smaller than Perdigões and Salvada. Of course, we do not know yet if it is prehistoric, but it looks so.

To confirm all these new possible ditched enclosures we just presented a project for field prospection and, after a selection (and fund raising), geophysical survey. This will enlarge, in a great number, the known prehistoric ditched enclosures in South Portugal and provide a base for further research. It will be a project of ERA, opened to all willing to participate.    

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

0129 – Some of the new ones

Here are some of the new possible prehistoric enclosures recently identified in Google Earth. These ones are from Beja district. (work of Tiago do Pereiro and mine).


Sunday, November 25, 2012

0128 - Many new enclosures in South Portugal

South Portugal is, definitely, becoming full of ditched enclosures. Every week seems to be discovered a new one in Google Earth, as it recently happened with Salvada. Well, my search for enclosures seems to have affected my colleague Tiago do Pereiro that came to me with several possible enclosures. Together we have now about 30 new possible (quite possible) ditched enclosures to be confirmed in Alentejo region, adding to the 40 already known. 

This weekend, passing by one of them (one of Tiago’s Google finds), we were able to confirm it is a Prehistoric enclosure, for there is a lot of pottery and stone tools at the surface.

It is now time for a specific project that allows the adequate confirmation of those images that we already have and the ones will have in the near future, for we are getting a lot of experience in recognize this particular signs in areal and satellite images.

Here is the new one, that seems to be spectacular, in Évora district. 

(this is not the Google image, but a SNIG one)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

0127 - Bit by bit

This is the way the outside ditch of Bela Vista 5 was done. Not at once, but by a sequence of short ditches, that were overlapped and are different in depth and thickness, as we can see from the different profiles obtained in several areas (an image from the archaeological report in preparation) and from the distribution of stone concentration in the surface of the sequence.

In some of them we can see evidences of re-cutting.

Naturally this delimitation has no functionality for defence or water circulation or other more practical goal. The sections were made to be filled (and some were filled before the next section was opened). And they are filled with stones and pottery shards: no faunal or human remains, no stone tools, no loom waits were recovered in the surveyed areas of this “ditch”. Just pottery, showing a clear selection of a particular category of material.

Faunal remains appear in some of the inside pits. The inside small ditch, on the contrary has some faunal remains associated to the pottery shards, and enclosures an area with just a pit grave. All the data from this enclosure points to a place of highly ritualized practices.

After the report is complete we intend to publish a monographic paper on this important site.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

0126 - Looking for enclosures on Google

It has been a quite successful practice. Xancra, Monte do Olival 1 and Salvada were detected in Google Earth. I believe others will be in the near future and others could have been, if areal images were carefully analysed as routine.

This is the example of Perdigões. In this image of the early nineties, the olive trees were not yet removed, the ploughing for the vineyards was not yet done and the spectacular areal image that revealed Perdigões set of enclosures was not yet taken. But the ploughing could have been avoided if this picture, available in the net, was carefully studied: part of the two outside ditches are perfectly visible in the south side of the site, near the road.

Of course, Google didn’t exist then and large projects of agriculture were not submitted to impact studies.  

Another example is Outeiro Alto. This site is now preserved in an island inside a water reservoir.

But it is interesting to see, in a Google Earth image of 2003 that vegetation defines the “flower” shape of the enclosure. A very thin suggestion of an enclosure (now easier to interpret, after the site has been discovered in the course of the construction of the tank), but a regular practice of analyse this kind of images, especially when the first evidences of prehistoric material are recorded, may be proved worthy.

And could this be a new one found this afternoon? Possibly. We shall see.


Friday, November 16, 2012

0125 - And now, for something completely different...

... the walled enclosure of  Vila Nova de São Pedro. It is an “icon” of Iberian Recent Prehistory. Or should I say an icon of a “certain” and “old” Iberian Recent Prehistory?

Discovered in 1936, it was excavated in different times, by different people. After the (methodologically poor) excavations of Afonso do Paço (between 1941 and 1967) the site became a reference and would be marking the Portuguese (and non Portuguese) archaeologist’s fantasies for decades. Excavate there became a sort of “alternativa” (the ritual consecration to became a bullfighter). Several felt compelled to put their tools into the ground there, but few published the results. Savory’s section still provides the best information. VNSP didn’t have the best of timings. It suffered at the hands of archaeologist because it became a “star” too soon. Scientifically, it is almost irrelevant nowadays. And when debate occurs, other more reliable contexts are called to the dispute. Just the Cultural Historical culture of VNSP (together with Los Millares) survives from those times, in the discourses of some, as a memory.
And that irrelevance to the discipline may be (part of) the explanation to the fact that this site, classified as National Monument since 1971, has been completely abandoned. Today this is the image: an amount of stones covered by vegetation, where a wall, frequently in ruin, can be perceived here and there. No local information, no notion of the plant, chronology or notice of the fact that the site is considered an important one for the National Heritage (and why).

A visit to VNSP is depressing. We are confronted with the deplorable way the country treats its relevant heritage; with the way some archaeologists have abused that heritage; with the way people with responsibilities just look in other directions. It is difficult to go there with someone who is not an archaeologist (or an archaeologist less than forty years old) and try to show the importance of the site.

VNSP, being famous abroad, was a victim of the processes of Portuguese archaeology until the late nineties of the last century. Now, it is a monument, not to the chalcolithic people that built it but to the way modern society deals with heritage.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

0124 - Human remains at Salvada

In the recent international meeting (that took place in Lisbon last week) dedicated to enclosures and funerary practices, I made an inventory of the presence of human remains inside ditched enclosures. I noticed that all large ditched enclosures revealed that presence (Perdigões, Alcalar, Porto Torrão, Valencina, San Blás, Pijotilla, Marroquiés Bajos) and that, until now, human remains are almost absent from smaller ditched enclosures (although I underlined that many of those were not excavated or have just small areas surveyed). In fact, only in Bela Vista 5 we have documented a burial in pit, dated from the last quarter of the 3rd millennium.
Well, the surface prospection of Salvada confirmed this situation, at least to large enclosures. Being a “big one” it provided a human phalange (hand), collected just outside of the double inner ditch, between the ditch and the stream that cuts the enclosure in two parts. As to be expected, associated to this enclosure there will be certainly several funerary contexts. Some will be inside, but probably other will be in the outside, surrounding the enclosed area. This large enclosures start to be predictable in some of their characteristics.

Ditched enclosures in South Portugal with human remains inside (yellow stars)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

0123 - Salvada’s prospection

In the context of the work being developed for EDIA (by Omniknos company and ERA assistance), Salvada was prospected today. The enclosed topography is amazing: a deep small stream, with the outside ditches being in the flat lateral tops and then curving towards the stream at North and South. The site is, therefore, a basin (once again), cut almost at the middle by the water line.

At the centre, where some small enclosures seem to be detected in the aerial images, there is a lot of material at the surface and spreading, with lesser densities, all over the right side of the enclosure. Lots of stone tools, abundance of pottery (plates, carenated bowls, globular pots), loom waits, blades and arrow heads, several grinding stones, faunal remains (and possibly human) and a nice limestone idol. It has definatly a Chalcolithic occupation, but a possible Neolithic origin.


The material was so much that we have run out of bags and had to be creative.

An amazing site no doubts about it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

0122 - A visit to Santa Vitória

In the context of the International Meeting “Prehistoric enclosures and funerary practices”, the ditched enclosure of Santa Vitória was visited by three dozens of participants. Being aware of the visit, the Delegação Regional de Cultura of Alentejo and the Campo Maior municipality developed efforts to have the site presentable: it was cleaned and the informative placards renewed. A good example of a joined effort of private and public initiatives to display, at an international level, this important ditched enclosure.

It is, though, a pity that, after all this time and in face of the new approaches and critiques, the discourse expressed by the informative placards stays the same. Santa Vitória did not have an internal bank. There is no evidence of it. Not inside the ditches, that have structured deposits of fauna, pottery and stone structures, and not anywhere else. Also the pits of two meters diameter by two metres deep, full of deposits with fauna and archaeological material, hardly can continue to be assumed as huts. This discourse was elaborated almost 30 years ago. Santa Vitória was the first ditched enclosures to be detected and excavated in Portugal, in the context of the “battle” between diffusion and indigenous approaches to walled enclosures. Born in a research context isolated from the European phenomena of ditched enclosures (in its variety) Santa Vitória had to be a fortified settlement.

But today, in face of new theoretical approaches and new empirical evidence, that interpretation no longer stands. And the image of twenty persons from different proveniences inside the inner enclosure is absolutely suggestive of the social role of this small enclosure.

Information should be renewed in the placards, not just the material support of it. And the data that resulted from the excavations, already aged of thirty years, should be published, so interpretations could be argued. Finally, excavations should come back. Archaeological excavations I mean, because the rain waters are excavating bit by bit the unprotected parts of the internal ditched that were not excavated during the eighties of the last century. And not just to save what is being destroyed by nature, but also to provide empirical data obtained with different questions in mind (which imply different methods and new analysis).

 I believe that Santa Vitória could yet be an important site in the Portuguese Recent Prehistory of enclosures, overcoming the status of irrelevance that results from its abandonment by research.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

0121 - A first sketch of Salvada

A first sketch of Salvada based on Google images and aero photos.

0120 - With a gate open to the solstice?


In this older aerial picture of the new site we can see very well the eastern side of the enclosure, namely the sinuous lobules of the inner ditch. We can see a gate that, by its location, seems to be facing the winter solstice. By combining several different images from Goolge and aero photographs we can almost have the whole plan of the site.

0119 - And a new (BIG) one

Just discovered, while preparing a field prospection. The Impact Study refers prehistoric material at the surface. Google reveals the rest (or almost).

It is a big one (480 x 430 meters), more or less the size of Perdigões, and have two external ditches, one apparently linear and the other sinuous like Xancra, Santa Vitória or Outeiro Alto (but much bigger). Inside, we can almost see more two other smaller ditches.

Like Porto Torrão and Pijotilla, a stream cut the enclosure, with a North-South orientation.

It is, naturally, in Alentejo hinterland, in the Beja district.  A work of ERA in a project of water supply of EDIA S.A.

Monday, October 29, 2012

0118 - Senhora da Alegria again

Here is a small enclosure detected in the highest platform of Senhora da Alegria set of enclosures.

In terms of stratrigraphy, it is posterior to the Early Neolithic occupation and it seems to be prior to the Late Neolithic one.  It is a very small ditched enclosure, apparently oval, with only one gate. The ditch is deeper in the gate sides and progressively becomes lesser deep towards the back. It was filled with layers of stones and clay, with very few materials, mainly polished stone tools.

Inside, and not centred, there was only a fireplace, conserving large fragments of wood charcoal.

The plant and the inside fireplace remember other European small enclosures, namely in Ireland and in Italy. In Portugal, and from Late 3rd millennium, we have other examples in Alentejo, where a pit grave substitute the inside fireplace.

In fact, we are just start to become aware of the large diversity and complexity of the processes of enclosing that took place in Western Iberia Prehistory. New empirical data is emerging every day. But most of it still way from debate and scientific forums.

Friday, October 26, 2012

0117 – A new one?

It might be a new one. It really looks like a ditch, slightly sinuous, from a Prehistoric enclosure. But only a section was defined. It has a gate, but the ditch ends in one side and continues to an unexcavated area on the other side. There are also some pits.

This section of the ditch was surveyed in two areas. In both it reveals a depth of just 30 centimetres and no archaeological material was recovered. What can we make of this? A ditch started but that wasn’t finished? It would be the first evidence of such a situation and, therefore, the site would be quite important.

We shall see. For the time being, the area will be enlarged and we possibly have a larger definition of the plan of this strange ditch.

It is in Alentejo, of course, near Moura. A work of Era Company to Edia S.A.

Friday, October 19, 2012

116 - International Meeting

18 days to go...

Alasdair Whittle (Cardiff University, Wales, UK)
Single or multiple?: exploring narratives for the development of enclosures in central and western Europe from the sixth to fourth millennia cal BC
Niels Andersen (Copenhagen University, Denmark)
Were the causewayed enclosures and the megalithic monuments of the Funnel Beaker Culture in Denmark places for special deposits of fragmented, funeral materials?
Alex.M. Gibson (Bradford University, UK)
Burial & Enclosure in Middle Neolithic Britain: some observations and some problems of continuity.
Jean-Noël Guyodo & Audrey Blanchard (Nantes University, France)
The place of funerary practices in Late Neolithic ditched and walled enclosures in the West of France.
António Valera (NIA-ERA Arqueologia S.A., Portugal)
Funerary practices in the Perdigões enclosure: time, diversity and cosmogony in the treatment  conceded to the dead.
Filipa Rodrigues (Crivarque, Lda., Portugal)
Skeletons in the ditch: funerary activity in ditched enclosures of Porto Torrão (Ferreira do Alentejo,
Ana Maria Silva & Cláudia Cunha (Coimbra University, Portugal)
Human Bones, Burials and Funerary practices at Perdigões Enclosure
Michael Kunst (German Archaeological Institute, Madrid, Spain), João L. Cardoso (Univer. Aberta, Lisbon) &
A. J. Waterman (Department of Natural and Applied Sciences Mount Mercy University USA
Human Bones from Chalcolithic Walled Enclosures of Portuguese Estremadura: examples of Zambujal  and Leceia.
Susana Oliveira Jorge (Oporto University, Portugal)
Enclosures and funerary practices: about an archaeology in search for the symbolic dimension of social relations.
Andrea Zeeb-Lanz (Cultural Administration of Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
Human sacrifices with cannibalistic practices in a pit enclosure? The extraordinary early Neolithic site of Herxheim (Palatinate, Germany)
André Spatzier (Halle – Wittenberg University, Germany)
Warriors and victims? Gendered burial at a henge like enclosure near Magdeburg, Central Germany.

Cosmin Suciu (Lucian Blaga din Sibiu University, Romania)

Turdas Eneolithic enclosure system and its funerary practices.

Giulia Recchia (University of Foggia, Italy)
The Copper Age ditched settlement at Conelle di Arcevia (central Italy)
Leonardo García Sanjuán (Seville University, Spain)
Funerary practices in the Copper Age settlement of Valencina de la Concepción (Seville): formal  diversity and social rank.
Patricia Ríos, Corina Liesau & Concepción Blasco (University Autónoma of Madrid, Spain)
Death areas in the ditched enclosure of Camino de Las Yeseras.  A reference site in the center of the Iberian Peninsula.
Victor Hurtado & Carlos Odriozola (Seville University, Spain)
Ditched enclosures in La Pijotilla and San Blas (Badajoz, Spain)
J. E. Marquéz Romero & Víctor Jiménez Jaiméz (Malaga University, Spain)
Meeting synthesis

Field trip:
Perdigões enclosure (Reguengos de Monsaraz); Santa Vitória enclosure (Campo Maior); Évora city.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

0115 - New papers on Portuguese ditched enclosures

With free download here.

Helmut Becker e António Carlos Valera
Luz 20 (Mourão, Évora): preleminary results of geophysical survey (caesium magnetometry)

Helmut Becker, António Carlos Valera e Patrícia Castanheira
Monte do Olival 1 (Ferreira do Alentejo, Beja). Caesium magnetometry in a ditched enclosure from the 3rd millennium BC.

António Carlos Valera
“Almeriense Idols” from Neolithic contexts of the enclosures complex of Perdigões

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

0114 - What to do with them

This is a question that should be asked more often. There are too many enclosures excavated and neglected, with their structures exposed to the natural elements and anthropic ones. This is not a specificity of prehistoric enclosures, but it is a major problem in their communication. Difficult to interpret and to communicate to the general public, the conditions of the few that are available for public visiting in Portugal are depressing, and definitely not concurring for public awareness of the importance of this kind of heritage and public mobilization for its value, defence and preservation.

When we follow a sign and find this...

Walled enclosure of Monte da Tumba (Torrão), visited two weeks ago.

... what really should we think? If we cannot afford the preservation of an enclosure for public visiting in positive conditions, than we should be aware that presenting them in unacceptable conditions is just stupid, for we will be sending all the wrong messages I can imagine.  This situation is generalized. Sometimes we can see that local authorities take some care of this heritage, but generally with local resources, not using experts on the matter. But even that is rare. Abandonment is the norm.

If the country doesn’t have the means for keeping these sites presentable, because there is no money, because there is not enough cultural market for archaeological heritage, then maybe it is better to cover some of them: the ones that don’t have any kind of regular concern.
Maybe confronted with that, local, regional and national spirits would have a different attitude to find the means or assume that is just impossible.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

0113 - Dating ditches and funerary practices

Tomorrow, at the VI Archaeological Meeting of Southwest Iberia, a paper will be presented about a radiocarbon sequence of dates for Perdigões set of enclosures.

“Valera, A.C, Silva, A.M. & Márquez Romero, J.E., “The temporality of Perdigões enclosures: absolute chronology of structures and practices”.

This sequence, of 34 dates, was obtained in the course of three projects integrated in the Global Programme of Research of Perdigões, coordinated by the NIA-ERA: a project of NIA-ERA aiming precisely to established the temporalities of the set of enclosures; a project of the Department of Anthropology of Coimbra University in collaboration with NIA-ERA dedicated to funerary practices in Perdigões; a project of the Malaga University developed in the NE gate of the outside enclosure.

The sequence reveals an occupation of more than a millennia, between 3360 and 2100 BC, corresponding to the Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic and transition to the Bronze Age. It also reveals a provisory image of progressive enlargement of the site during this time span and the progressive diversity of funerary practices, especially during the third millennium BC.

We will be coming back to this important chronological sequence during the meeting taking place in next November in Lisbon on enclosures and funerary practices.

And we hope to publish it next year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

0112 - Interpreting geophysics

Here is the image of the magnetogram of the ditched and palisade enclosure of Monte do Olival 1 with Helmut Becker’s interpretation of the negative structures present at the site. This interpretation will be published next month in the electronic journal Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património (a free download journal).

One of the things we learn with Helmut is that having a magnetogram is not enough. We also need good interpretation, based on the knowledge of geophysics, but also of the type of contexts we are dealing with.