Excavations 2017


This is a temporary blog for presenting the excavations of 2017 at Perdigões. Posts from 2011 to 2016 are still available.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

0217 - And the protagonism to the stone structures...


... and to the Open Day: an opportunity to visit Perdigões and the excavations that are taking place there presently.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

0216 - A day of protagonism of material culture


A large Late Neolithic spoon.


A flint arrow head.


Inlaid pottery decoration.


And a sun in a Late Neolithic bowl.

Monday, 17 July 2017

0215 - A special visit

Today, José Roquette, the main owner of the land occupied by Perdigões enclosure and of the Esporão company that partially supports the research, visited the site and was introduced to the news obtained in the recent work.


Here being escorted by me and Miguel Lago, while we were being filmed by Raul Lousada.

Friday, 14 July 2017

0213 - Half campaign

Reaching the middle of July campaign. Today we were investing in the Chalcolithic contexts, namely the stone structures.


 But also in the Late Neolithic pit 80, that is becoming deeper and “strange”. It seems to go under the geologic in some areas and part of the beginning of a “roof” has already collapsed, for the geologic is quite weathered.


 And here is the first two weeks team.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

0212 - Discovery of the day

Part of a stone circular wall from a possible hut that, apparently (still some more work needed), was partially dismounted in prehistoric times. Something recurrent in other sites in Alentejo.


A practice that deserves some thought.

Monday, 10 July 2017

0211 - A new ditch.

The work is entering the second week.



And a new ditch was recognized today. Ditch 14 is a Middle Neolithic one and was cut by the Late Neolithic large pit 80. It is also cut (or is cutting?) ditch 13c1, also from Middle Neolithic, that cut the section 13c2b.  This shows a complex sequence of small enclosures of temporary nature.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

0210 - Complexity of ditches.


Any archaeological excavation must deal with some complex stratigraphic problems. Excavation and re-excavation of negative structures is one of them. At Perdigões earliest phases we are dealing with a ditch that shows episodes of re-cutting and segmentation. This image is clear of that complexity, not yet fully understood.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

0209 - Talks and holes

Last night we had our first street talk. Cate Freiman, for Australian National University, talked about Australian rock art. How it expresses contact, adoption, rejection, in sum, how it communicates the complex social relations between local cultures and newcomers.


 This morning we continued the excavations in the center of Perdigões. At the moment, and in a small area, we are excavating context from final middle Neolithic, Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. That is to say, all the chronological span known so far for Perdigões.
One of the interesting things of the day: another large post hole, just a meter away from the one identified two years ago, is being excavated.


 And between the two post holes we can see the post located in the NE gate, that is orientated to the summer solstice (indicated by the arrow in the picture). 


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

0208 - The "Ianus"


The second phase of Perdigões 2017 campaign started yesterday. The first day was mainly dedicated to cleaning and put up the coverture. Today, we were already excavating. Nothing particularly significant is there to report yet. But there is always something new or different in Perdigões. In the top of a new pit there were two parts of jaws deposited together, but pointing to opposite directions: one was from a horse and the other from a pig. A “strange Ianus”.


Starting the second phase campaing

Friday, 30 June 2017

0207 - Back for the 2nd phase of 2017 campaign


Next Monday we will be back to Perdigões, for the next phase of 2017 campaign. After Tomb 3, excavated in May, we will now focus on the Neolithic and Late Chalcolithic contexts in the central area of the enclosures. In the afternoons, though, we will be working several different materials from the contexts excavated in previous years, excavated in May and from those that will be in excavation for the next month.

As usually, all of you that are interested in Perdigões project may follow the daily news here.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

0206 - The end (for now)

Tomb 3 is excavated. It has a strange architecture. Deeply affected by the ploughing, but providing important information, both in architectonic and funerary terms.


The rest of the day was spent treating materials: excavating pots and cleaning bones.



"Pottery hospital"



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

0205 - Phalanx idols

In the early funerary depositions there are not just shells, but also idols made out of horse phalanges. Her is one deposited at the bottom and framed by two horns of bovidae.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

0204 - A hot day

The excavation of tomb 3 is nearly finished, and the heat is rising.

In the bottom of the preserved area of the structure more partial anatomical connections are present. No evidences of complete skeletons were detected though. Nevertheless, this is another difference regarding the tholoi type tombs just a few meters away.

An ankle.


A leg.


And beneath the bones large sea shells continue to appear.




Monday, 22 May 2017

0203 - Underneath the bones


A deposition of a Pecten, broken in place, just below some long bones.


Friday, 19 May 2017

0202 - Getting closer to the end

We started to remove the bones that are preserved from the ploughing.


 Here, a cup just in the north limit of the funerary structure, preserved between two ploughing marks.


 This cup.


 And the treatment of materials continues.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

0201 - BBP

Bones, Blades and Pottery. That is the stuff that makes our days. Well, with a phalange idol here and a bead there.

As to the structure, things are slightly more comprehensible. 


A limit of stones at West, a lit of a geologic cut at North and a “wall” of clay at South. At East ?????


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

0199 - Something new

Today an agglomeration of stones appeared next to the bones. Maybe part of the funerary structure. We’ll see.


But at the center, the agglomeration of bones, with some anatomical connections, increased.
A detail of the concentration, with blades in the first plan.


And here a detail of a pot with its content slightly displaced by the ploughing, but note to much.



Finally, the location of the excavation in the so called  necropolis area of Perdigões.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Saturday, 13 May 2017

0197 - This morning

When you excavate revolved geologic and find blades inside.


These blades.


 The phalange idol is from other context, next to this concentration of pottery and human bones (a femur is well visible).



Friday, 12 May 2017

0196 - Cruiser march

Another day with intermittent field work due to the rain. Even so, some possible bone connections (a hand) were identified. This mandible was fragmented in two parts by the ploughing, but they remount and have the teeth we need for Sr analysis.  


Regarding the materials, more pots, more blades, more Pecten, a phalange idol, and no arrow heads, no ivory items, no red pigments, no stone idols or pots, maintaining an interesting contrast with the neighboring Tomb 1 and Tomb 2.

When we are not at the field we go to work in doors, with the archaeological material.


And when we got home, we had this nice view just at the door step.