terça-feira, 6 de junho de 2017
New paper on Perdigões enclosure. This one about the social role of molluscs and mollusc shells in the site. The main conclusion is that the consumption of molluscs and shells is mainly an issue of ideology, rather than subsistence, in the context of transregional interaction and use of exogenous materials. The majority are sea or estuarine species and, of those, it was the shell (not the mollusc) that circulated the most. Pecten maximus is one of the main presences, but in different contexts according to chronology: in depositions in ditches and pits in the Neolithic Perdigões, and a lot in funerary contexts during the chalcolithic. These and some other interesting aspects of molluscs use at a local and regional scales are discussed in the paper (in Portuguese), where large ditched enclosures show differences regarding smaller open or walled sites.
quinta-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2016
Auroch horn from Neolithic pit 48 of Perdigões
The project Perdigões PTDC/EPH-ARQ/0798/2014 – MOBINTER - "Mobility and interaction in South Portugal Recent Prehistory: the role of aggregation centers” is collaborating with the project ARCHAIC. The archaeogenetics Of Iberian Cattle: investigating their origins, evolution and improvement” (see information here: http://archaic.campus.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/Archaic/home.html).
In this context sixty samples (30 of Bos taurus – domestic cattle -and 30 of Bos primigenius – auroch) will be selected for DNA analysis from Neolithic and Chalcolithic contexts of Perdigões.
quinta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2016
In October 18th, a new master thesis on Perdigões enclosures was presented:
“Exploring Chalcolithic diet and mobility of humans and animals from Perdigões site”, by Indre Zalaite.
It was presented at University of Évora, in ARCHMAT program (ERASMUS MUNDUS MASTER IN ARCHaeological MATerials Science) and was also part of the project on mobility at Perdigões enclosures (see here) approved and financed by the Portuguese Science Foundation.
It is a first output of that project, which results will soon be published, product of the collaboration of the three institutions involved in the project integrated in the Global Program of Archaeological Research of Perdigões: ERA Arqueologia, Hércules Laboratory – Uévora and ICArEHB-UAlg. Center.
quarta-feira, 11 de maio de 2016
Ditched enclosures, namely the large ones, are some of the best contexts to developed research on mobility, for they congregate numerous evidences of interaction and movement of people, animals and objects.
At an Iberian scale, Perdigões is now one of the main sites where this research is being developed.
There is a Portuguese Science Foundation project dedicated to this specific topic: “Mobility and interaction in South Portugal Recent Prehistory: the role of aggregation centers”. In this project participate the research unit of ERA Arqueologia, the research centre ICArEHB of university of Algarve and the laboratory Hércules of Évora University.
But this research has a wider projection, for this project is in articulated collaboration with several others related to the same topic.
We also integrate the project “Beyond migration and diffusion: peoples and technologies in prehistory”, financed by the Australian Research Council, and involve Era Arqueologia, the Australian National University, Griffith University and the Centro Nacional de Investigatión sobre l Evolución Humana. The goal will be research and compare mobility patterns between Prehistoric Iberia and the Pacific Islands.
Furthermore, we are establishing a partnership in this topic with another FCT project: “Beaker origins: Testing the hypothesis of late Neolithic dispersals from Iberia using both ancient and contemporary mitochondrial genomes” developed by Minho University with the collaboration of the doctoral scholarship programme at Huddersfield University (UK) entitled Genetic Journeys into History: The Next Generation (running 2015–2020).
Finally, we are engaged in other projects in phase of application, namely two on diets and mobility of animals in Iberia and another that will join the European Atlantic façade, “6,000 years of Farmers and Food: Reconnecting Atlantic Heritage” (working title), that will join institution from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Portugal and Spain.
The participation of Perdigões complex of enclosures in all these projects, some of them already with preliminary results, puts it in a unique position (in Iberian terms) in the context of the actual focus of research in mobility in Prehistory at an international level.
But this is the result of the way the Global Program of Research of Perdigões was conceived and is being developed.
sexta-feira, 8 de abril de 2016
quarta-feira, 6 de abril de 2016
In a very profitable collaboration with Hercules Laboratory of Évora University, several archaeometric projects are being developed in order to provide answers to the main problems that are being researched at Perdigões by the Nia team. In the present case we are dealing with the funerary contexts of cremated human remains and trying to know what kind of wood was used for the cremations and what temperature was achieved by analysing the charcoal remains. A poster with the first results will be presented at the meeting “Wood and Charcoal” to be held at Minho University this month.
Here is the title of our collaboration:
Random gathering or intentional wood selection? Charcoal analysis of pit 16 deposit from Perdigões archaeological siteGinevra Coradeschi, Cristina Dias, Fernando Branco, Laura Sadori and Antonio Valera
quarta-feira, 30 de março de 2016
Perdigões is still enlarging its range of scientific collaborations. We are now starting a partnership with the project “Beaker origins: Testing the hypothesis of late Neolithic dispersals from Iberia using both ancient and contemporary mitochondrial genomes”, a Portuguese Science Foudation financed project from Minho University (Environmental and Molecular Biology Center), and with a PhD thesis being made in the context of the Leverhulme Trust doctoral scholarship programme at Huddersfield University entitled Genetic Journeys into History: The Next Generation (running 2015–2020).Meanwhile, a synthesis about the Bell Beaker phenomena at Perdigões will be presented at a meeting to be held in the University of Lisbon next May.
sexta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2016
quinta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2016
sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2016
A conference about de global research program of Perdigões, followed by a workshop about that research and public display strategies and the inauguration of an archaeological exhibition will be occur in February 11th in Évora, in the Direcção Regional de Cultura.
Here is the detailed program (starting at 15.00):
“Perdigões: a síntese de 18 anos de investigação de um sítio de excepção.” António Carlos Valera
Workshop (16.30 – 17.30):
A divulgação dos Perdigões: limitações e potencialidades.
O arquivo antropológico dos Perdigões: avaliação a partir do caso de estudo do sepulcro 1.
Lucy Shaw Evangelista
O registo faunístico nos Perdigões: os dados que resultam de 15 000 ossos já estudados.
A investigação dos recintos de fossos em Portugal: razões da excepcionalidade dos Perdigões.
António Carlos Valera
segunda-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2016
There is new information about the manipulation of human remains at Perdigões enclosures that will be published in a paper during 2016.
Here is a glimpse into the new data: a skull from a child that presents marks that probably resulted from scalping.
quarta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2015
It was recently published a paper about the ideotechnic items present at Perdigões enclosure.
This paper presents a preliminary approach to the global assemblage of the Late Neolithic and Chal-colithic ideotechnic items recorded in Perdigões enclosures (Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal). An inventory of the available data is provided. These items are organized in nineteen typological categories and are ana-lyzed in terms of raw material, context and chronology. Based on the available information, some questions regarding interaction and the social role of these objects at Perdigões are discussed.
António Carlos Valera, The diversity of ideotechnic objects at Perdigões enclosure: a first enventory of items and problems. ARPI, Homenaje a Rodrigo Balbín Berhmann, 3 Extra. Universidad de Alcalá, 2015: 238-256.
quinta-feira, 1 de outubro de 2015
sexta-feira, 28 de agosto de 2015
Mobility is one of the most actual issues to research in Prehistory, in the context of a socially committed Archaeology. Here is the abstract for the new research project on Mobility for Perdigões enclosure that will be financed by the Portuguese Science Foundation, led by NIA-ERA and ICArEHB for 2016-2018.
This project aims to appraise the intensity and the social, economic and ideological role of mobility and interaction in Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic societies in South Portugal expressed in the development of complex aggregation centers.
Societies are based on interchange. Mobility is, therefore, constitutive of society. This structural social role of interchange and mobility may assume many forms (from gift to regulated economic trade), it can be highly ritualized or almost totally desacralized, and address almost everything (persons, animals, objects, raw materials, ideas, beliefs, knowledge, ontological status, etc.).
The development of more complex social organizations during Recent Prehistory generated the emergence of places that intensively acted as stages or landmarks for mobility and exchange. In this context, many Prehistoric enclosures (ditched, walled or palisade enclosures) provide all through Europe evidence that suggest that role. From those that can be interpreted as aggregating places, to those that seem to mark pathways or those that concentrate large quantities of exogenous items or raw materials, or even those that involve mortuary practices, enclosures are important contexts to approach the role of mobility in the social organization of Neolithic and Chalcolithic societies, traditionally considered progressively more sedentary.
For the purpose of this research, a specific archaeological site, dated from the 4th and 3rd millennium BC was selected for its adequacy to deal with the issue: Perdigões (Reguengos de Monsaraz, Évora). It is a large (20 ha) ditched enclosure, with a long chronology (about 1400 years), with a strong background research that shows that the site has the archaeological data (several funerary contexts, abundance of faunal remains, abundance of artifacts and raw materials of foreign provenance) in quantity and in quality necessary to address the social role of mobility in these societies in the region.
This approach to mobility and interaction will be focused in the physical and geographical movement of people, animals and artifacts, by establishing local and exogenous provenances. It is aimed to establish a regional and trans-regional network of relations and characterize the social, economic and ideological role that a large ditched enclosure like Perdigões played in it. By doing so, we intend to define the part of physical mobility in the development of the global social system of these communities and its impact in identity, social cohesion or generation of inequalities, economic strategies and territorial organization.
Mobility and interaction will be established through isotopic analyses of 87Sr/86Sr (for human and cattle), paleo diets (for humans, through isotopic analysis of d13C and d15N), archaeometric studies of specific artifacts and raw materials (ivory materials, cinnabar, large flint blades, beads, pottery, copper objects) and identification of foreign faunal species (namely mollusks), as well as through more traditional typological approaches to material culture.
Materials, human and faunal remains and contexts from previous excavations in Perdigões will be used, but new specific features will be submitted to survey in order to enlarge the data base in terms of spatiality inside the site and in terms of time range.
To analyze the performance of mobility and the network of interactions in their different components through time, a program of radiocarbon dating will be developed, which also aims to go deeper into the temporality of the enclosure.
The results will provide a set of data that will allow the characterization of interaction and mobility at Perdigões through its living time and the construction of a theoretical model that tries to combine the role played by both variables in the socio-economic organization, ideological expressions and territorial fluidity of Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic communities in South Portugal.
Finally, particular attention will be conceded to the public impact that an archaeological research project should always assume. Mobility and interaction are key issues in present social live and bring major challenges for the years to come at regional or more global scales. So, the project deals with problems that are well embedded in a present complex historical context, where new forms of social and economic mobility are being delineated and generating new social dynamics of adaptation or of resistance. By assuming an important actual social issue and try to analyze the role it assumed in the organization and developed of societies in a totally different historical context, the project helps to bring Archaeology closer to our current social life and to make it more socially meaningful and committed. Therefore a particular task was design to deal with the public display of the goals, developments and achievements of this research.
sexta-feira, 5 de junho de 2015
sábado, 30 de maio de 2015
Perdigões ivory figurine makes the cover of the journal World Archaeology, edited by Paul Lane and integrating a paper on Perdigões ivory productions: Valera, A.C., Schuhmacher, T.X., Banerjee, A. (2015), “Ivory in the Chalcolithic enclosure of Perdigões (South Portugal): the social role of an exotic raw material”, World Archaeology,
quinta-feira, 23 de abril de 2015
Next Monday, in the context of a meeting in Abrantes, Portugal, dedicated to interaction of objects and raw materials in the 3rd millennium BC, a first approach to the study of the provenance of stone idols and vessels from Perdigões will be presented. A collaboration of Nia-Era and the ITN-IST in the context of Charisma program. The analyses were done at the Nuclear Analysis and Radiography Department, MTA Centre for Energy Research, H-1121 Budapest, Hungary.
A general approach to the interaction in Perdigões, regarding raw materials, objects and people, was presented in Madrid in the beginning of this month, in the context of a meeting dedicated to debate the use of resources in this same period.
quarta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2015
quarta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2014
terça-feira, 11 de novembro de 2014
A paper is being prepared about the phalange idols from funerary contexts of Perdigões enclosure. Some are decorated, others just polished and with change in their morphology to make it more anthropomorphic. While cleaning the peaces one of them presented a decoration characteristic of the anthropomorphic figurines of the 3rd millennium BC: the two solar eyes, the facial tattoos and, in this case, a horizontal belt. In the back the usual zigzag hair. Very similar to some decorated phalanges of La Pijotilla.
The paper will address the idols but also their specific support that reveals particular choices and has implications for an important issue of the period: the questions about social role of the horse.
quarta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2014
terça-feira, 9 de setembro de 2014
A new master thesis was done in the context of the Global Program of Research of Perdigões. Daniela Pereira presented to the University of Coimbra a thesis in Biological Anthropology in which she studies a part of the cremated human remains recovered in the central area of Perdigões enclosure in the excavation of NIA-ERA Arqueologia.
terça-feira, 2 de setembro de 2014
It is now available in this blog a page dedicated to publish posters about Perdigões research presented in scientific meetings. We start with this one, presented in 2006, and in the next days others will be available. See page above.
domingo, 31 de agosto de 2014
sexta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2014
After the papers on ivory lunulae (Valera, 2010), ivory anthropomorphic figurines (Valera and Evangelista, 2014) and ivory zoomorphic figurines (Valera, Evangelista and Castanheira, in press) a new is in preparation, summarizing and debating the ivory materials from Perdigões to be submitted to thematic volume of World Archaeology journal (António Valera, Thomas Schuhmacher and A. Banerjee will be authors).
But this head also show us that some of these figurines were quite big. In the paper already published (Valera and Evangelista, 2014) we were able to determine the general percentage of the size of the heads relating the all body (through the measurement of several complete figurines from South Iberia). They seem to cluster in two groups, one around 18% and another around 13%. Assuming these percentages, this head would belong to a figurine with 19 cm (in the first cluster) or 26cm (in the second cluster).
In this context the study of figurines is being completed with this year findings at the cremation contexts. And these figurines don’t cease to amaze us. That is the case of this large head (34mm high) that presents 4 eye holes organized by two pairs. One of the eyes is still inlaid with white paste, reinforcing the argument that large and deep eye holes in some of these figurines were inlaid with some materials. In another figurine from Perdigões, one of the eyes still has a small stone fixed with some sort of clay.
(Photo by António Valera)
So, there are some quite large ivory anthropomorphic figurines at Perdigões.
VALERA, António Carlos (2010), "Marfim no recinto calcolítico dos Perdigões (1): "Lúnukas, fragmentação e ontologia dos artefactos", Apontamentos de Arqueologia e Património, 5, Lisboa, NIA-ERA Arqueologia, p. 31-42.
VALERA, A.C. E EVANGELISTA, L.S. (2014), “Anthropomorphic figurines at Perdigões enclosure: naturalism, body proportion and canonical posture as forms of ideological language”, Journal of European Archaeology, 17(2), pp.286-300.
VALERA, EVANGELISTA AND CASTANHEIRA, in press, “Zoomorphic figurines and the problem of Human-Animal relationship in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Southwest Iberia”, Menga.
quarta-feira, 12 de março de 2014
Secundary human depositions in tomb 1 of Perdigões (photo by Miguel Lago)
The Perdigões ditched enclosure has being continuously investigated since 1997 and during the last years, several funerary structures have been unearthed, with traces of a variety of mortuary practices that include inhumations and cremations found in different architectural solutions like tombs, pits or ditches. Among them is Tomb 1, a tholos type structure discovered in the eastern side of this site where a large amount of human remains were recovered.
The anthropological study of these remains is now in course at the department of Anthropology of the University of Coimbra by Lucy Evangelista that is doing a PhD with this material.
The intention with this doctoral thesis is to, through anthropological analysis of the human remains recovered from Tomb I and the identification of the funerary rules and attitudes present, contribute to the better understanding of the attitudes towards death that were taking place at Perdigões. In addition she will pursue to contextualize the information recovered from the laboratorial study within the global information already available, not only for the other funerary structures identified in the site, but also in a wider regional context where other coeval collections have been studied.
domingo, 9 de março de 2014
A paper was recently published on Perdigões temporalities. It can be download here.
Based in a set of 35 radiocarbon dates, an image of progressive growing of the site is emerging. Starting with to central enclosures dating from Late Neolithic (second half of the 4th millennium), grew bigger with the intermediate wavy ditches dated from the second quarter of the 3rd millennium and finally with construction of the ditch 1 in the topo of the amphitheater slope in the second half of the 3rd millennium.
However, this image of a progressing growing must be seen as provisory, since several ditches still to be dated, namely the one that runs partially out of ditch 1 and is cut by it. If this ditch is older, Neolithic for instance, than the site was big since the beginning.
This is an important step into the Perdigões temporalities, but is still just a step. Further research is needed to provide a complete image of the diachronic development of this impressive set of enclosures
terça-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2014
A "bell beaker" dagger from Perdigões.
A new general line of research has been established for Perdigões Global Program of Research focus on copper metallurgy. Although there is some research being done for some while in the context of specific sub projects of this global program mainly orientated to other issues, now it will be developed a specific project for the problematic of copper metallurgy at Perdigões as a whole.
This project will be developed through the collaboration of the Global Program of Archaeological Research of Perdigões, directed by Nia-Era, and the Hercules laboratory of the University of Évora (Portugal).
The sub-project aims to determine the chemical composition of the metal artefacts; to perform qualitative and quantitative crystallographic analysis on slag; the identification of micro structural characteristics to inform about the techniques and efficiency of production.
The methods to be used are pXRF, OM, SEM-EDS and XRD.
The team from Hercules Laboratory, that will be working in direct relation with the Perdigões Global Research Program, is constituted by Carlo Bottaini, José Mirão, António Candeias and Nick Schiavon.
We will be providing information about the development of the project.
quarta-feira, 5 de fevereiro de 2014
Stone idol from cremations pit 40 (Excavations NIA-ERA Arqueologia)
A new archaeometric project is being developed at Perdigões regarding the determination of the raw materials and their provenance for the stone idols and pots from some of the Perdigões funerary contexts.
In fact, the artefactual assemblages from the pits with human cremations present considerable differences when compared with those from the tholoi tombs, although the radiocarbon dating shows that these several feature were simultaneously in use for some time. Archeometric studies to determine the raw materials and their provenance can then be helpful to evaluate the nature of these differences inside Perdigões and also to further characterize the interaction network in which the site was involved.
The work will start tomorrow, at Budapest.
sexta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2014
Dr. Steven D. Emslie, University of North Carolina, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, and Dr.William P. Patterson, Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory, University of Saskatchewan, Canada initiated a collaboration with the Perdigões Research Project.
They propose to complete stable isotope analyses of δ13C and δ15N on human remains that have been recovered in Perdigões, in an attempt to understand past diets and variations in diets among the people that lived and circulated there. The well-preserved human bone at Perdigões will be ideal for analyzing collagen for both stable isotopes and mercury using small samples (< 5 g) from each skeleton. These isotopes will provide information on the major trophic level from which these people were subsisting, and whether they had a diet based largely on wild plants and grains or included meat or perhaps some marine-based food sources.
Recent research on strontium isotopes from human remains at this site suggests that the people at this site were from out site the regions where Perdigões is located. The analyses of stable isotopes and mercury may provide additional support for this hypothesis as people migrating from different regions are likely to have considerable variation in δ13C and δ15N in their bone, averaged over a lifetime, as well as different exposures to mercury
A pilot study is undergoing using 20 small samples of human bone (from 20 individuals) from existing collections from Chalcolithic Tomb 1 and 2 and from Neolithic pit graves and Chalcolithic cremated remains. The first results are quite surprising and will be presented at 37th Annual Meeting of the Joint Society of Ethnobiology & Society for Economic Botany Conference, Cherokee, NC, from May 11–14, 2014.
A larger sub-project will be designed for future research in the context of the Global Archaeological Research Programme of Perdigões.