Saturday, November 28, 2015

0319 - Monte da Contenda and Montoito enclosures first publication


Monte da Contenda

In next December 11th a volume of the Estudos Arqueológicos de Oeiras will be publically released, including a paper where the geophysics plans, surface materials, available radiocarbon dates and some interpretative ideas of Monte da Contenda and Montoito will be displayed. Both sites have their particular important issues. Monte da Contenda, by its complexity and dimensions, is a site to be discussed in the context of the large and long lasting enclosures with repetitive episodes of building and rebuilding. Montoito is different. Not so big, apparently with much lesser phases and less complexity, provides a quite specific plan in the Iberian context.

This results were obtained in the context of the project that the NIA department of Era Arqueologia has been developing regarding the identification and characterization of ditched enclosures in Alentejo. A research responsible for the identification of a third of the ditched enclosure presently known in the region.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

0318 - New prehistoric ditch in the heart of Lisbon

Image taken from here

It was presented today, in a congress in Lisbon, a paper about a recently excavated ditch (by Neoépica company) in Lisbon (Travessa das Dores) dating from Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic. It is a large ditch (can reach 8 meters wide and almost 3 meters deep) and was detected in an area highly urbanized, in what seems to be a platform at the middle of a slope over the Tagus river.

The ditch revealed several stone structures and levels of occupation inside it and was abandoned apparently during the middle Chalcolithic.
Ditches are, step by step, becoming more frequent in Lisbon peninsula during Recent Prehistory. At the moment it is hard to believe that ditched enclosures will reach there the numbers already available for Alentejo.  But the future will bring important news for Estremadura regarding this kind of structures and sites.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

0317 - The oldest chalcolithic ditch at Perdigões

We know now that Perdigões ditched enclosures started by the middle of the 4th Millennium BC. That it has developed during the Late Neolithic to became already a large enclosure. The new assemblage of radiocarbon dates shows this. But also shows something else. That the earliest chalcolithic ditch at Perdigões is the small ditch 10 and that it defines an enclosure smaller than the Late Neolithic large one. Interesting don't you think?

The temporalities of Perdigões are getting better characterized by the recent work developed by NIA-ERA (that is directing the global program of research) and ICArEHB at Perdigões. But this work also shows that many surprises may be ahead. This is a complex and chellenging site. It is a privilege to work there.

Monday, November 23, 2015

0316 - New paper on portuguese enclosures.

It has been recently published and is available at and Reserach Gate.

0315 - Perdigões ditch 7 is dated.

Perdigões ditch 7, another one with structured depositions and human remains, is now also dated by three radiocarbon dates that put its filling and re-cuttings between 2600 and 2200 BC. This ditch has one of the most interesting sequences of filling of Perdigões ditches, for it has a sequence of depositions that seem to have been deliberately closed by a stone “cairn”. After that the process of filling changed. That sequence is well dated by these three dates. But some more are needed.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

0314 - Horta do Pinheiro 6 dated

The ditch at Horta do Pinheiro 6 has been dated by radiocarbono from Late Neolithic. There are now 15 ditched sites with occupations dating from Late Neolithic in Alentejo, plus the occupation of Middle Neolithic at Perdigões.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

0313 - Perdigões is getting older

New radiocarbon dates for recently excavated features at Perdigões show that the site was already quite big in Late Neolithic and that it begun earlier, in late Middle Neolithic.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

0312 - New project with Australia

Desenho de Guida Caselas

The project of Perdigões enclosure, me and Era Arqueologia will be integrating a new project on mobility financed by Australian Research Council, and led by Australian National University. Here are the participants and abstract of the project:

“Beyond migration and diffusion: The prehistoric mobility of people & ideas”

1 Dr Catherine Frieman, Chief Investigator, The Australian National University
2 Prof Dr Rainer Grun, Chief Investigator, The Australian National University
3 Prof Matthew Spriggs, Chief Investigator, The Australian National University
4 Dr Rachel Wood, Chief Investigator, The Australian National University
5 Dr Mathieu Duval, Partner Investigator, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), Burgos, Spain
6 Dr António Valera, Partner Investigator, Era Archaeology, Conservation and Heritage Management, Portugal

1 The Australian National University Administering Organisation
2 Era Archaeology, Conservation and Heritage Management, Portugal Other Organisation
3 Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana Other Organisation

The project builds on the strength of ongoing, innovative collaborations between archaeologists and geochemists to ask novel questions about the movement of people and ideas in prehistory. Spatial and temporal patterns in population mobility will be examined to clarify their relationship with the appearance of new and exotic materials, technologies and practices. We focus on the ways in which the movement of individuals and groups of people is both an instigator and a response to sociocultural change, utilising both key European and Pacific Island examples to help build a truly comparative archaeology of phenomena of rapid social and economic change, with pertinence to general theories of innovation and adoption.