Discovered in Google earth, the enclosure of Montoito
(Évora, Portugal) was partially submitted to geophysics (done by Helmut Becker)
in the context of the research projects of NIA-Era Arqueologia directed by me
and that have been responsible for a significant increment of our knowledge of
ditched enclosures in South Portugal (see Valera, 2012; 2013 a and b).
Magnetogram over an aerial image of 1995, where we can
follow approximately the trajectories of the ditches. (Image unpublished. Should
not be used without authorization).
In the centre a sinuous ditch, similar to others known
in Portuguese Guadiana basin but less regular, defines an inner enclosure with
a gate open to S. It is surrounded by a double ditched enclosure with a
probable ellipse shape and a gate also orientated to SW. It is the first
ellipse shaped ditched enclosure in Portugal, resembling some known in Germany.
Meisternthal enclosure (Germany) with an ellipse shape (Becke, 1996)
Its major axis is orientated closer to Winter
solstice. As usually, there are lots of circular pits and surface materials
indicate a Chalcolithic chronology for this enclosure.
We will try to finish the geophysics before formal
publication of this context.
Becker, H. ed. (1996),
Archäologische prospection. Luftbildarchäologie und Geophysik, Müchen
Valera, A.C. (2012), “Mind the gap”:
Neolithic and Chalcolithic enclosures of South Portugal”, (Alex Gibson ed.),
Enclosing the Neolithic. Recent studies in Britain and Europe, BAR, p.165-183.
A.C. (2013a), “Recintos de fossos da Pré-História Recente em Portugal.
Investigação, discursos, salvaguarda e divulgação”, Almadan, Segunda Série, 18,
A.C. (2013b), “Cronologia dos recintos de fossos da Pré-História Recente em
território português”, Arqueologia em Portugal 150 anos, Actas do I congresso
da Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses, Lisboa, AAP, p.335-343.