Vale do Boi excavation
Vale do Boi excavation

Upper Paleolithic occupations at the site of Vale Boi, Vila do Bispo

Through 20 years of dedicated excavation work at Vale Boi, archaeologists have deepened the understanding of the Upper Paleolithic period

On Tuesday, February 6, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by Archaeologist João Cascalheira. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Traje in São Brás de Alportel, the second lecture will be at 6pm at the Convento de São José in Lagoa.


Vale Boi excavation

Archaeologist João Cascalheira will be offering a comprehensive look at the adaptive strategies of ancient human populations in the Iberian Peninsula, especially around the archaeological site of Vale Boi (Vila do Bispo, Algarve), over a span of 10,000 years.

Through 20 years of dedicated excavation work at Vale Boi, the team has deepened the understanding of the Upper Paleolithic period which, in this region, began around 32,000 years ago. He will showcase the unique ways in which these hunter-gatherer communities tailored their lifestyles to the local environment.

Notably, even as new technologies and methods emerged, these groups clung to lasting strategies, such as specialised hunting practices and the selective use of materials. The presentation will delve into the ways that these communities absorbed technological changes while retaining their unique regional traits, illustrating a remarkable example of cultural resilience and adaptation.

Flint tool and animal bone at Vale Boi excavation
Flint tool and animal bone at Vale Boi excavation

João Cascalheira is an archaeologist interested in prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptations, specifically in how these are related to processes of climate and environmental change. He is focused on the study of lithic technological organisation and its correlation with various aspects of ecological dynamics and human behaviour.

He currently directs fieldwork in several sites within the context of his ERC Consolidator Grant – FINISTERRA: Population trajectories and cultural dynamics of the late Neanderthals in Far Western Eurasia. He is also a collaborator in different projects on the Middle and Later Stone Age in Mozambique and Sudan. João is also currently the Director of ICArEHB (The Interdisciplinary Centre for Archaeology and the Evolution of Human Behaviour), a research centre for Archaeology at the University of Algarve.

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, email [email protected], visit or Facebook ‘Algarve Archaeological Association‘. Please check the website or Facebook page for any last-minute changes.



AAA Poster Fevereiro 2024