O Projecto Outeiro do Circo estará presente nas IV Jornadas de Jovens em Investigação Arqueológica, a realizar entre 11 e 13 de Maio na Universidade do Algarve (Faro) com o seguinte tema apresentado sobre o formato de poster:
Material questions over a reddish layer in the Outeiro do Circo’s wall slope (Beja, Portugal)
Authors: Ana Osório (CEMUC/CEAUCP), Miguel Serra (Palimpsesto/CEAUCP) e Eduardo Porfírio (Palimpsesto/CEAUCP)
Key words: Late Bronze Age; fortification; building strategies; archaeometry
A noticeable structure traces a wide perimeter along the Late Bronze Age site of Outeiro do Circo (Beja). Previously studied in the 70’s and, more recently, through the analysis of local aerial photography this structure was interpreted as some type of settlement wall. Such studies lead to a field-project in 2008 to further question the site’s fortification system.
While excavating a trench, cutting through the wall’s slope, a strange layer of reddish, hard, earthen irregular blocks was uncovered, raising questions about its placing, forming and functionality. Why is there, on the slope, so much of this material? Was this layer hardened clay/soil or burnt ceramic? If it is burnt clay, which temperatures might it have attained? Can it be related to the phenomena of Late Bronze Age settlement Wall vitrification occurring in Europe or do the materials suggest other possible interpretations?
The collection of that reddish matter and of related soil samples and latter analysis through an integrated methodology based on Optical Microscopy, XRD (X-Ray Diffraction) and TG/DSC (Termogravimetry/ Differential Scanning Calorimetry) provides an array of useful information about their composition, similarities, differences and behavior with temperature. The comparison of data allows raising interesting possibilities for the interpretation of this structure in terms of human interaction with a specific landscape.