Excavations 2018

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

Saturday, 29 July 2017

0225 - The last (and long) post of the campaign

The team of the 2nd phase. Two are missing, one possibly trying to get out of pit 80 and the other wondering around with a machine in hands.

An example of the complexity of middle Neolithic ditches, suggesting the periodic building of ditched enclosures in the same general area.

An example of the cutting of a middle Neolithic ditch by a late Neolithic one (ditch 5). 

The end of ditch 5 under Chalcolithic deposits and structures. Possibly a gate.

Two sections of Chalcolithic circular structures dismounted during the Chalcolithic. A deposit separate them, and another deposit is under the lower one.

That last deposit is against  the face of the wall. This is showing a sequence of construction of these stone structures during the Chalcolirhic.

Pit 80 is getting deeper. Who knows me knows I am a Beatles fan. And this pit reminds me of a song from Pepper's: "It's getting better all the time", where Lennon sang in the back: "it can get no worse"

And finally, the column has already about 70 cm.

See you next year (if not before).

Friday, 28 July 2017

0224 - A general image...

... of the complexity of the central area of Perdigões. Structures dating from 3500 to 2000 BC.

The density of structures, cutting or overlapping each other, makes the excavation quite difficult and shows that these complex contexts can only be address in open area. And the ditches, namely the earlier ones, rarely go where we expect them to go.

Also interesting to see that the chalcolithic occupations don't just build and occupy  over the Neolithic ones. They cut the previous ones, and then form deposits and build. Something that was also detected in an area just some 10/15 meters to south of the right limits of this photo.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

0223 - Getting close to the end

Some images of today excavation.

When we get to the field. The rising Sun is always striking.

The wall is becoming quite a nice wall, with two rows of stones, nicely built.

Pit 80 is getting deeper and deeper, and the column bigger.

And the faunal remains there are abundant and show a significant presence of juvenile animals. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

0222 - Surprise, surprise

It started like this: a bloc of clay.

Then, when sectioned, a rock appeared. The clay was coating the rock.

When we went deep in the excavation, the rock continued, circular and coated by the clay. It looks like a bedrock column, like others known in large pits or Mediterranean hypogea. Because the rock is strongly weathered the coating with clay was a solution to avoid degradation (that occur once we did the section in the clay).

The excavation of pit 80 is already quite deep. The presence of the possible column suggests it may get a lot deeper. And makes us wondering...

Meanwhile, in the other pit botanic remains (possibly of linum) keep growing.

Monday, 24 July 2017

0221 - Getting more interesting

The pit with the carbonized fruits (?) is getting more interesting.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

0220 - A pit with interesting remains

The stones that closed the pit excavated in previous deposits (with no impermeability of the walls).

The botanical remains appearing underneath the stones

A close up

The remains: some sort of carbonized fruits?


Hopefully, we will soon know what they are.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

0219 - Open Day

As medicine is not developed for the doctors Archaeology is not developed for the archaeologists. Archaeology produces knowledge to be used in social arenas and in personal cultural enlargement. Therefore, archaeological work and archaeological knowledge is to be shared, communicated, and debated with the public. Only then the job is done.  
Opening the excavations to public visit and communicating ongoing research is part of that.
So, today, it was open day at Perdigões. Visitors could see the site and the ongoing excavations, the site museum, the deposit where materials are being treated and assist to a conference that debated the presence and the possible meaning of exotic materials in the Perdigões funerary contexts.

At Perdigões this practice is already a tradition.

Visiting the site

Half of the participants visiting the deposit of archaeological materials, some that are being presently worked. The first half has already left for the museum.

Friday, 21 July 2017

0218 - Flashes of an excavation

Excavating a normal pit (not sleeping)

Excavating a deeeeeep pit.

Excavating a very small pit (post hole)

Cleaning a wall.

Defining the top of a Late Neolithic ditch that was cut by Chalcolithic contexts.

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).