Tomb 4 Perdigoes

Monumentality and ceremonial practices in a Neolithic and Chalcolithic aggregation centre

On Tuesday, November 7, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by archaeologist António Valera. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Traje in São Brás de Alportel; the second will be at 6pm at the Convento de São José in Lagoa.

António Valera will be introducing us to Perdigões ditched enclosure located in Reguengos de Monsaraz (Alto Alentejo, Portugal). This Prehistoric funerary site is a ‘Woodhenge’, more than 20m in diameter with concentric rings of postholes and is the only one of its kind known so far in the Iberian Peninsula. The site is part of the Perdigões Archaeological Complex, which covers 16ha and is classified as a National Monument (https://perdigoes.org).

Central timber circle
Central timber circle

The Complex was discovered in 1996, dates from 3400 to 2000 BC and has been undergoing research and excavation in an ongoing project led by António Valera.

In this talk, António will present a general characterization of Perdigões ditched enclosure, focusing specifically on some aspects of its design, its long existence, monumentality, funerary practices, transregional interaction and mobility, and social role.

Example of exotic materials at Perdigoes
Example of exotic materials at Perdigoes

He will be talking about the ceremonial practices that were undertaken at this Neolithic and Chalcolithic aggregation centre and the amazing artefacts that have been recovered from the site.

António Carlos Neves de Valera has a degree in History and in Archaeology, a Masters and a PhD in Archaeology (Universities of Lisbon and Porto). He has developed research since 1988 focusing on the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of Central and Southern Portugal.

Magnetogram of Perdigoes ditched enclosure
Magnetogram of Perdigoes ditched enclosure

He coordinates the Global Archaeological Research Program of Perdigões complex of ditched enclosures and integrates the research unit of Era Arqueologia Company and the ICArEHB centre of Algarve University. António has a vast list of publications and has been engaged with several editorial projects in Archaeology.

Non-members are welcome to attend AAA lectures for a €5 admission fee, with all money raised by the AAA being used for archaeological grants and speakers. For more information, contact [email protected], visit arquealgarve.weebly.com or Facebook ‘Algarve Archaeological Association’. Please check the website or Facebook page for any last-minute changes.

By JANE ROBERTSON

Bioanthropology applied to Archaeology: what can human bones tel