Excavations 2018

This is a temporary blog for presenting the excavations of 2018 at Perdigões. Posts from 2011 to 2017 are still available.

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.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

0195 - Between the drops of rain

Today the rain let us excavate a bit during the morning and a bit during the afternoon. And then presented us this fantastic “rainflat”, just in front of Perdigões. I wonder how this would have been seen 5000 years ago.

The periods of work, though, allow us to finish the definition of another alignment of pottery, fragmented and complete, just underneath the previous layer with the complete pot.

 In the middle of the fragments of pottery another green bead.

 And a hollow pot appearing in the mass of fragments.

 Here, the anthropologist was converted to the splendors of pottery.

 And another complete pot, escorted by two blades.

A nice day at Perdigões between the drops of rain.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

0194 - What about the bones?

Well, in these layers affected by the ploughing the bones are not in good conditions, naturally.
This is an example of a skull. But important information may be retrieved, the remains may be dated and the teeth are there, to be used in the Sr isotopic studies to addressed human mobility.

Inclusively, a part of a foot was identified, suggesting that when we get to the preserved layers, anatomic connections might be present. This also shows that the ploughing displaced and upturned parts of the context, but didn’t disperse them in an absolutely incomprehensible way.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

0193 - Pots

Continuing the excavation of the mass of bones, pottery and blades.

Today was a day of pots. Here are some complete in the mass of fragments. And note how a complete pot was covered by the geologic in a reverse stratigraphy. That is a result of the ploughing.

 And one of the pots came out today. And underneath several others appeared (but that is for future pots).

 For now, have a look of the copper tool: a saw.

Monday, 8 May 2017

0192 - Green Day

No, it’s not the band. It was a green day at Perdigões.
It is known that Perdigões has a strong connection to Sporting Lisbon. The grandfather of the owner of the farm was one of the founders of the club. The owner was president of the club and won the last two championship of Sporting. Era team is a bunch of supporters of Sporting Lisbon. In 2009, while excavating in the center of the enclosure, a watch with the club symbol was found, showing, behind any doubt, that this is the oldest club in Portugal and surroundings.
Well, last Sunday Sporting Lisbon lost against some guys dressed in blue. And Perdigões cheered us up with a green day (the colors of Sporting).

Of course, the stone blades continue to appear, but now green.

And the first bead, naturally green.

And the last, but not the least, a green copper blade.

Copper artifacts are rare in funerary contexts at Perdigões. But today was a compensation day. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

0191 - A first preliminary look…

… into the distributions of the reassembling fragments of the blades. It is clear that there is a short displacement towards South and an even shorter one to Eats. The northern pack looks like it was less affected. All together they were brought up by the ploughing but not much dispersed.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

0190 - Shells as exotic items

A nice fragment of a Pecten maximus from tomb 3. An imported shell from the coast.
By the end of this moth it will come out a paper about the molluscs shells at Perdigões (A.C.Valera, Lino André, Views on the transregional interaction in Iberian Southwest Recent Prehistory: questioning the shells and molluscs from Perdigões. Estudos Arqueológicos de Oeiras, 23). There, we show that most of the mollusc’s shells in Perdigões are from sea or estuarine species (382 remains against 47 from freshwater), demonstrating that they are an important item in the transregional interaction where Perdigões was involved with. The Pecten maximus is the second most represented species (more than a hundred remains) and around 25% was present in funerary contexts. This is one more.

Only the convex valve is present at Perdigões. So, no Pecten molluscs were consumed. Only the shell arrived. For its shape, it was valued and used in ritualized practices and was part of funerary assemblages. It was an exotic item, to be analysed in the context of the approaches to mobility and interaction in Perdigões.

Friday, 5 May 2017

0189 - A tricky day.

A beautiful first blade (lâmina de crista).

Today we started to collect the blades. Each one was numbered in the image on the laptop in the field, so we can analyse the spatiality of the remounting between fragments and understand the movement of the ploughing and the displacement of materials.

But then it came a heavy rain, and we had to leave the field. So, in the afternoon the work was carried out in doors. The anthropologists cleaned the bones…

… and the archaeologists the blades. These are the blades from tomb 3, so far.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

0188 - Pots and... blades

An apparently complete pot.

 And blades and more blades.

A detail of a pack, and all blades are of the same raw material. Who knows? Maybe they correspond to a knapping series.