Excavations 2014

This is a temporary blog for presenting the excavations of 2016 at Perdigões. Posts from 2011 to 2015 are still available.

Friday, 31 July 2015

089 – Day 19

Today was cloudy so we spent the morning cleaning the enlarged area of sector Q. A group of us was defining the stone structure deeply affected by the 1996 ploughing.

It was here that the bell beaker displayed earlier was recovered. Today another beaker shard appeared and also a copper sharp awl.

The other group was cleaning just few meters away, and a circular stone structure start to appear.

Some work after, it looked like a tholoi type structure. Unfortunately half of it is behind the section.

Here you can see how close both structures are and how differently they were affected.

In fact, the possible tholoi barely escaped the ploughing, as you can see by the bottom of the marks.

A good morning for the process of characterization of  the central area of Perdigões.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

088 – Day 18

Although it is day 18 I will still be talking about yesterday. At night begun the study of the stelae.  Here is the big one under the almost full moon and Rodrigo analysing it.


There was an audience.

And here is Rodrigo and Mimi discussing it with Adara, their PhD student integrated in Era’s team.

But during the day, at sector P in ditch 7 more human remains were recorded. This time two fragments of a mandible.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

087 – Day 17

Another busy day. Today the stelae at Gate NE were removed.  Gate NE has been the area of work for some time now of the team of Málaga University that is collaborating with the Global Research Program of Perdigões, with a sub-project integrated in Era’s project.

Here are, assisting to the removal, Rodrigo Balbin, António Valera, Mimi Bueno and Pepe Márquez.

The removal was directed by Pedro Braga, Era’s restoration expert (on the right in the photo).

And here is the biggest stelae being transported by Sr. Joaquim, an expert in manoeuvring that machine.

Finally, here are the stelae ready to be studied by Rodrigo and Mimi in the context of Málaga sub-project. Beatriz gives the scale and the study begins tonight.

But today was also the open day for the children (arround 80 of them). These ones were lucky and could see the removal of the big stone.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

086 - Day 16

The skull of the possible female from ditch 7.

And the other skull, still in situ, broken in small peaces and burned.

Monday, 27 July 2015

85 – Day 15

Today was the beginning of the third week (second of the larger team). The moment of the morning was the finding of human bones mixed with faunal remains, pottery shards and small stones in ditch 7. After ditches 3 and 4 (see published paper), now is ditch 7 to present human remains in a same similar context: a context where they are one more element to build the context meaning.

The bones correspond to two skull fragments, separated by a meter or so. One was already removed and it is a frontal skull bone, possibly of a female (opinion of our anthropologist in the team). The other is still in place and is burned.
Location of the first fragment (the one of the previous picture)

The second one, burned.

If you are interested in this topic (scattered human bones in ditches) I suggest the paper on ditch 3 and 4 of Perdigões (in Portuguese) here: http://www.academia.edu/498082/OSSOS_HUMANOS_PROVENIENTES_DOS_FOSSOS_3_E_4_E_GEST%C3%83O_DA_MORTE_NOS_PERDIG%C3%95ES

Sunday, 26 July 2015

84 – Day 14

Today was a resting day. But some work is always done. Reviewing the record and adding some more lines to a paper in preparation.

In this case, a paper about the exogenous materials in Perdigões and about what they can tell us about the social role of the site through its living time. There are abundant materials and raw materials at Perdigões that have exogenous provenance. This crystal of quartz from Tomb 1, and displayed at Perdigões museum at Esporão, is one of them.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

83 – Day 13

The excavation of sector Q is going well. The circular structure is almost totally defined and a central large post hole was detected cutting the sediments of a previous Neolithic pit. Here is the general image of the structure as it stands at the moment. The white arrows mark the limits of the overture to East and the red arrow indicates the post hole (at the geometric centre of the structure).

Near, there is another previous Neolithic pit, with quartz lithic material and faunal remains in the middle of small stones.

Friday, 24 July 2015

082 – Day 12

Last night was the first “street talk” in Telheiro. Nelson talked about some main issues of zooarchaeology for the team.

This morning, the excavation of ditch 11 continued and it seems Perdigões was big since the beginning.
Ditch 7 is deeper and deeper, always with depositions of pottery  shards and faunal remains.

And here it is this week team.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

081 - Day 11

Sorry for the absence of notices yesterday. It was a particularly busy day. Here are some pictures from today’s morning.

We always start the days by cleaning a bit more of the large area open insector Q. Lots of features are being defined.
When the Sun gets higher we then go to the different sectors where the excavation is being developed. Here is the circular structure being excavated.

And here Ditch 7 in sector P

After lunch, a visit to the Perdigões museum.
And finally, a decorated shard: note the decoration with the two eyes and the facial tattoos under the rows of dots.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

080 – Day 9

The cleaning and excavation continued in Sector Q, P and H. Here are some images of Sector Q.
 Excavation of pits and the circular ditched structure in the late afternoon.
 A section of the circular structure (note the wedges for holding the posts).

 A nice small pit inside another large pit (note the adz in the left top).
And a nice decorated shard (symbolic decoration)

Monday, 20 July 2015

079 – Day 8

First day of the large team. Day of adaptations. The excavations started in Sectors Q and H. This nice bell beaker shard was found in sector Q.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

078 – Day 7b

The beaker from sector Q recovered during last week cleaning.

077 – Day 7

It is a resting day from field work. Time to organize the record and to “play” a bit with the information. Here is the plan “in construction” of the circular structure. Note the large overture to East.

In fact, the back of the structure almost reproduces the visibility of Perdigões itself over the landscape: visibility restricted to North, West and South and open to East, roughly delimitated by both solstices.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

076 - Day six.

Dedicated to define some structures. Here are two or three pits inside the circular feature in sector Q (the north limit of the circular structure is visible in the picture).

And here is the team of three that prepared the ground for the larger team that will start Monday. “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

075 – Day five

The excavation of ditch 7 continued. We defined a row of large stones next to the east side of the ditch. When the stones were removed a deposition of small stones, pottery shards and faunal remains (especially horns) were identified.  The rest of the ditch surface had nothing. Again intentionality.  

At sector Q we identified the other extremity of the circular structure that started to be recorded last year. It is an infra structure of a wood wall with 7.5 meters diameter and a circular plan, but that is open  to east in 7 meters (not really a gate, rather a opening of a stage).
We will get back to this extraordinary structure later, with the complete plan, to explore its implications.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

074 - Day four


Today we continued the excavation of ditch 7 and start cleaning one of the new open areas. There, some large circular structures (visible in the geophysics) were detected. They reveal the presence of a large quantity of stones to be defined. Near to one of these structures, part of a bell beaker pot (the one of the rim presented before) was detected broken in situ. This is showing that, even with the intensive plough of 1996, there are some contexts preserved between the ploughing outside negative structures. This is a promising area to understand the late Perdigões, namely the bell beaker contexts.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

073 – Day three

Today there was a progress in several areas. Here is an example: ditch 11 is defined and prepared to be surveyed. It might bring quite significant news to Perdigões perception, depending on its chronology.