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Monumental entrances at Iberian Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures: entrance 1 at Perdigões (Portugal) as case study

Monumental entrances at Iberian Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures: entrance 1 at Perdigões (Portugal) as case study
Monumental entrances at Iberian Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures: entrance 1 at Perdigões (Portugal) as case study
Ditched enclosures have been found in many European regions during the Neolithic and Copper Age. This widespread, almost pan-European monumental tradition has also been documented in the Iberian Peninsula in the last 25 years, although the impact of their discovery in the continental debates has been, for the most part, rather small. In these enclosed sites, ditches delimit spaces by establishing an inside and an outside. Crucially, however, in most enclosures known to date with enough detail, ditches show one or more interruptions interpreted as entrances or points of access that connect the outside with the inside. These entrances appear to be architectural elements of great importance and possibly special significance. During the Neolithic, European ditched enclosures showed great formal variability, from the simplest (a gap or discontinuity in the course of the ditch) to more complex forms such as the pince de crabe (crab's claw). Many of them show astrological awareness and/or orientation towards certain prominent features of the surrounding landscape. Changes in form and transformations through time, both of the entrance itself and of the nearby elements, are also very common. All in all, they are an important component of almost every ditched enclosure, and often some of the most visibly monumentalised areas of these sites. This paper has two objectives. Firstly, in section 2 we will summarise the results of the various fieldwork activities performed at Entrance 1 in Perdigões and its immediate proximity, describing its form, features and temporality. Secondly, we shall contextualise it within the architectural practices of the peoples of the Middle Guadiana basin in the 4th and 3rd millennia cal BC. Towards that end, in section 3 we will give a brief overview of the diverse entrances identified at Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures in the area. This will include the preliminary proposal of a basic classificatory scheme based on morphological regularities. We shall finish with some concluding remarks and some ideas for future work.
Neolithic, Chalcolithic, enclosures, ditches, Perdigões, entrances
Caro, José Luis
4c0337c1-ca5c-4fcd-a4c7-81bd305d782a
Jiménez-Jáimez, Víctor
96444fcf-5e49-4785-9471-660479bf93d2
Márquez-Romero, José Enrique
b22af7e7-0cc9-4005-a03e-b1b0c071b009
Suárez-Padilla, José
8f3df945-08ff-418b-afcd-233f3a4cc4d8
Caro, José Luis
4c0337c1-ca5c-4fcd-a4c7-81bd305d782a
Jiménez-Jáimez, Víctor
96444fcf-5e49-4785-9471-660479bf93d2
Márquez-Romero, José Enrique
b22af7e7-0cc9-4005-a03e-b1b0c071b009
Suárez-Padilla, José
8f3df945-08ff-418b-afcd-233f3a4cc4d8

Caro, José Luis, Jiménez-Jáimez, Víctor, Márquez-Romero, José Enrique and Suárez-Padilla, José (2015) Monumental entrances at Iberian Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures: entrance 1 at Perdigões (Portugal) as case study. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe: Megaliths, Societies, Landscapes, Germany. 16 - 20 Jun 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Ditched enclosures have been found in many European regions during the Neolithic and Copper Age. This widespread, almost pan-European monumental tradition has also been documented in the Iberian Peninsula in the last 25 years, although the impact of their discovery in the continental debates has been, for the most part, rather small. In these enclosed sites, ditches delimit spaces by establishing an inside and an outside. Crucially, however, in most enclosures known to date with enough detail, ditches show one or more interruptions interpreted as entrances or points of access that connect the outside with the inside. These entrances appear to be architectural elements of great importance and possibly special significance. During the Neolithic, European ditched enclosures showed great formal variability, from the simplest (a gap or discontinuity in the course of the ditch) to more complex forms such as the pince de crabe (crab's claw). Many of them show astrological awareness and/or orientation towards certain prominent features of the surrounding landscape. Changes in form and transformations through time, both of the entrance itself and of the nearby elements, are also very common. All in all, they are an important component of almost every ditched enclosure, and often some of the most visibly monumentalised areas of these sites. This paper has two objectives. Firstly, in section 2 we will summarise the results of the various fieldwork activities performed at Entrance 1 in Perdigões and its immediate proximity, describing its form, features and temporality. Secondly, we shall contextualise it within the architectural practices of the peoples of the Middle Guadiana basin in the 4th and 3rd millennia cal BC. Towards that end, in section 3 we will give a brief overview of the diverse entrances identified at Neolithic and Chalcolithic ditched enclosures in the area. This will include the preliminary proposal of a basic classificatory scheme based on morphological regularities. We shall finish with some concluding remarks and some ideas for future work.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: June 2015
Venue - Dates: Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe: Megaliths, Societies, Landscapes, Germany, 2015-06-16 - 2015-06-20
Keywords: Neolithic, Chalcolithic, enclosures, ditches, Perdigões, entrances
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 390260
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/390260
PURE UUID: 978d2bbf-1b49-4d8b-b915-96dc2098f443

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Apr 2016 12:56
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:29

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Contributors

Author: José Luis Caro
Author: Víctor Jiménez-Jáimez
Author: José Enrique Márquez-Romero
Author: José Suárez-Padilla

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