June 2022 : Day visit to Quinta do Poço at the Lagoa-Carvoeiro Golf Course
The archaeological site of Quinta do Poço was revealed during construction work at the Pestana Golf Course at Carvoeiro. Following the discovery excavations were carried out by a multidisciplinary team from ERA-Archaeology. Through our friend Francisco Correia (one of the students who received grants from the AAA in the past) who now works at ERA, we were able to obtain special permission from the owners to visit the site before the excavation was closed.
The anomalies consisted of negative structures in the limestone in the form of inhumations as well as grain stores, some of which had changed in use and become middens (rubbish dumps). The original stone covers of the grain stores have been found at the bottom of the dumps. Mainly through the ceramics contained in the middens, these anomalies have been identified as coming from the Chalcolithic, Neolithic and Islamic periods. One particular pit was found to contain the articulated remains of a bovine - the reason for this deposition is as yet unknown and is subject to further analysis.
During our visit on the 7th of June our group was introduced to the archaeologists working on the site and they were able to explain more about the features they were working on. We were also given the opportunity to see and handle some of the impressive finds from the site.
It seems that, during preliminary works, about 30 anomalies were revealed, but, as the excavation progressed this number increased to 90+.
The human skeletal remains were very carefully removed, even though their age and the soil conditions made this difficult and time-consuming work. It was all carried out with great care and respect.
Interestingly, a future study on the human teeth should be able to firmly date the remains and also give clues to the age at death, sex and even ethnicity.
We are very grateful to the landowners and archaeologists who allowed us to visit and view fieldwork in action! Francisco and his team hope to return there to investigate more of this fascinating and important site. He has also agreed to give presentations to the AAA after the laboratory work on the finds and remains have been completed. A letter of appreciation has been sent to to the landowners and we do hope we will be able to visit the new excavations at some point.