quinta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2011

A Joint Consideration of the Study of Prehistory in Britain and Portugal: Towards a Critical Understanding of Time, Space, Practice and Object in the

Workshop January 2011

A Joint Consideration of the Study of Prehistory in Britain and Portugal: Towards a Critical Understanding of Time, Space, Practice and Object in the Prehistoric Past

Location: Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Porto

Dates: Friday 28th and Saturday 29th January 2011

Organised By: Sérgio Monteiro-Rodrigues (DCTP-FLUP) and Lesley McFadyen (DCTP-FLUP)

Sponsored By: Departamento de Ciências e Técnicas do Património da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (DCTP), Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos das Universidades de Coimbra e Porto (CEAUCP) - Research Group ‘Espaços e Territórios da Pré-história’, Universidade do Porto, and the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.

This workshop brings together researchers that work on Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in Britain and Portugal. There have been many conferences on monumentality in prehistory, the nature of prehistoric occupation, and the social meaning of space and time in the past. These conferences have been important in introducing several key speakers and their theoretical approaches, and without a doubt they have produced major changes to the ways in which we perceive our archaeological evidence. The focus of all of this thinking has not however come directly from the evidence but from the significance of our perceptions of it, and so often the detail has become secondary to ideas and methodologies. This workshop wants to kick-start discussion by making sure that research comes from, and follows, the materials themselves. The workshop organisers have therefore invited several of the participants to present aspects of the prehistoric sites that they work on, and from this detail we will move back into a series of structured debates on our understandings of time, space, practice and object in the prehistoric past. The workshop organisers have also invited several of the participants to chair and maintain the structure of the debate in each session. The two days are organised as a workshop in order to encourage as much debate as possible about the case studies and the issues that are involved in the study of prehistoric sites. Our conviction is that joint discussion and collaborative knowledge, rather than individual formal presentations, make a more effective medium within which to work.

The workshop is a small-scale event with a maximum of 40 participants. We welcome the participation of developer-funded archaeologists that undertake research on prehistoric sites, as well as those that study prehistory in the university from the level of Masters Student to Professor. Whilst most of the case studies will be presented in English, we also encourage discussion in Portuguese. The small-scale nature of the event, and the informal setting, are therefore vital in working between the two languages and ensuring understanding.

Themes of the Sessions:

Session 1: The Question of Architecture

More often than not our accounts of prehistoric sites focus on an architectural object, whether this be a building defined by its walls or a series of phased structures. But this understanding offers only a limited understanding of the dynamics and materials that are involved in the practice and use of lived space. This session questions the hierarchy in knowledge of architecture that sets up design over use, object over practice.

There have been many critiques in archaeology of the prescriptive way in which we perceive and understand architecture (S. Oliveira Jorge 1999 and Thomas 1993). At the same time, it seems that it is very difficult for us to leave this legacy behind in our approaches to our archaeological evidence. What do we need to do? Is it enough to leave architectural terms out of our descriptions due to the dominant view that they conjure up? Is a change in terminology enough? Does this make a major change to the ontology of Design and Form that is embedded in thinking Architecture?

Session 2: Architecture as Practice

A recent field of study, formed from the convergence of archaeology and anthropology (V. Oliveira Jorge et al. 2006), is the study of the ways in which people inhabit, perceive and shape their environments, in currents of space, time and movement. Departing radically from the conventional archaeologies of architecture, which treat buildings as objects of analysis, work at the level of practice suggests that we need to think in a different way about inhabitation. Rather than thinking of inhabitation as an activity that comes after architecture, these practices can instead project forward and create the conditions for building. This session explores the currents of time, space and movement that are made manifest in prehistoric archaeological evidence.

Session 3: How Material Culture and Architecture Relate to One and Other

This session explores research at the scale of materials, from a range of sites that deal to different degrees with issues of occupation and monumentality. It investigates the detail and dynamic of deposition in the past. It considers the significance of the temporal trajectory in the evidence, and how it reconfigures accounts of the making and unmaking of space in prehistory (Brudenell in Brudenell and Cooper 2008 and Knight in Garrow et al. 2005).

Session 4: The Nature of Prehistoric Inhabitation

Over a decade ago, the anthropologist Tim Ingold asked the question ‘..where, in an environment that bears the imprint of human activity, can we draw the line between what is, and is not, a house, or a building, or an instance of architecture?’ (Ingold 1995).

Prehistory has moved from the study of monumentality over occupation, culture over nature, architecture over place, to an archaeology of dwelling. This session follows materials through networks of action (Pollard 2008), looks closely at how these practices extend out to create lived space in prehistory, and debates the nature of the relationships that were involved (Rodrigues et al. 2007).


Brudenell, M. and Cooper. A. 2008. Post-Middenism: Depositional Histories on Later Bronze Age Settlements at Broom, Bedfordshire. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 27(1): 15-36.

Garrow, D; Beadsmoore, E. and Knight, M. 2005. Pit Clusters and the Temporality of Occupation: an Earlier Neolithic Site at Kilverstone, Thetford, Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 71: 139-157.

Ingold, T. 1995. Building, dwelling, living: how animals and people make themselves at home in the world. In Strathern, M. (ed.) Shifting Contexts: Transformations in Anthropological Knowledge, 57-80. London: Routledge.

Oliveira Jorge, S. 1999. Revisiting some earlier papers on the late prehistoric walled enclosures of the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Iberian Archaeology. 5: 89-135.

Oliveira Jorge, V; Cardoso, J.M; Vale, A.M; Velho, G.L. and Pereira, L.S. (eds.) 2006. Approaching ‘Prehistoric and Protohistoric Architectures’ of Europe from a ‘Dwelling Perspective’. Special edition of the Journal of Iberian Archaeology. 8.

Pollard, J. 2008. Deposition and material agency in the Early Neolithic of southern Britain. In Mills, B.J. and Walker, W.H. (eds.), Memory Work: Archaeologies of Material Practices, 41-59. Santa Fe: SAR Press.

Rodrigues, S.M; Figueiral, I. and López Sáez, J.A. 2007. Indicadores Paleoambientais e Estratégias de Subsistência no Sítio Pré-histórico do Prazo (Freixo de Numão – Vila Nova de Foz Côa – Norte de Portugal). Actas do III Congresso de Arqueologia de Trás-os-Montes, Alto Douro e Beira Interior – Debates no Vale do Côa, organização do Ministério da Cultura, Instituto Português de Arqueologia, Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa, Centro Nacional de Arte Rupestre, ACDR de Freixo de Numão e Câmara Municipal de Vila Nova de Foz, no prelo.

Thomas, J. 1993. The Politics of Vision and the Archaeologies of Landscape. In Bender, B. (ed.) Landscape: Politics and Perspectives, 49-84. Providence and Oxford: Berg.

Workshop Schedule

Friday 28th January 2011

Introduction to workshop

11.00-11.15 Sérgio Monteiro-Rodrigues (University of Porto) and Lesley McFadyen (University of Porto)

Session 1: The Question of Architecture

11.15-11.45 Thinking Prehistoric Architecture Today. Vitor Oliveira Jorge (University of Porto)

11.45-12.00 Case Study Questions

12.00-1.00 Structured Debate Chaired By: Ana Bettencourt (University of Minho)

Lunch 1.00-3.00

Session 2: Architecture as Practice

3.00-3.30 The Olchon Court Cairn, Herefordshire: The Re-Invention of Architectural Tradition. Julian Thomas (University of Manchester)

3.30-3.45 Case Study Questions

3.45-4.15 Castelo Velho, Alto Douro: The Site as a Web of Actions. Susana Oliveira Jorge (University of Porto)

4.15-4.30 Case Study Questions

Break 4.30-5.00

5.00-6.00 Structured Debate Chaired By: João Muralha (University of Porto)

6.00 Workshop drinks reception, followed by workshop dinner

Saturday 29th January 2011

Session 3: How Material Culture and Architecture Relate to One and Other

1. Architectural Sequence and Material Culture Deposition

9.30-9.50 Depositional Pratices and Pits in the South of Portugal during the Bronze Age: The Case of Montinhos 6 (Serpa). Lídia Baptista (University of Porto)

9.50-10.00 Case Study Questions

10.00-10.20 The Temporalities of Occupation and Deposition of Broken Pottery at an Enclosure Site and a Pit Site in Neolithic Britain. Mark Knight (Cambridge Archaeological Unit)

10.20-10.30 Case Study Questions

2. Sherd Stories and Other Artefacts

10.30-10.50 Sherd Biographies and the Dynamics of Ceramic Deposition on Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Settlement Sites in Eastern England. Matt Brudenell (University of York)

10.50-11.00 Case Study Questions

11.00-11.20 How fragments of pottery tell a story of stratigraphy. Dulcineia Pinto (University of Porto)

11.20-11.30 Case Study Questions

Break 11.30-12.00

3. Architecture as Material Practice

12.00-12.20 Sherds as Materials: Examples from Castanheiro do Vento, Alto Douro. Ana Vale and the Castanheiro do Vento Team (University of Porto and University of Tomar)

12.20-12.30 Case Study Questions

12.30-12.50 Actions in Time: After the Breakage of Pottery and Before the Construction of Walls at Castelo Velho, Alto Douro. Lesley McFadyen and the Castelo Velho Team (University of Porto and University of Tomar)

12.50-1.00 Case Study Questions

Lunch 1.00-3.00

Session 4: The Nature of Prehistoric Inhabitation

3.00-3.30 Stonehenge, its Environs, and the British Later Neolithic: An Account of Prehistoric Lived Space. Josh Pollard (University of Bristol)

3.30-3.45 Case Study Questions

3.45-4.15 The connection between ephemeral structures and mobility at the Neolithic site of Prazo, Alto Douro. Sérgio Monteiro-Rodrigues (University of Porto)

4.15-4.30 Case Study Questions

4.30-5.30 Structured Debate Chaired By: Maria de Jesus Sanches (University of Porto)

Closing Discussion and Future Directions

5.30-6.00 Chaired By: Sérgio Monteiro-Rodrigues and Lesley McFadyen

Lista e breve biografia dos oradores convidados

Lídia Baptista was born in Vila Real, May 1977. Degree in History, Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto (FLUP), July 2000. Masters Degree in Archaeology, FLUP, 2004. Ph.D Student in Archaeology, FLUP, Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos das Universidades de Coimbra e Porto (CEAUCP), research grant from Science and Technology Foundation (FCT).

Ana Bettencourt is Professora Auxiliar com Agregação in the University of Minho, where she teaches prehistory. Her main subjects of investigation are Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement and funerary practices, Rock art, Paleo-environment reconstruction, Mining and metallurgy, and Archaeology and Tourism.

Matt Brudenell is a Ph.D student at the University of York, currently completing a study of pattern and variability in the production, use and deposition of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age ceramics in East Anglia. He has a background in British commercial archaeology, and has published several papers and reports on the later prehistoric ceramics of Eastern England.

Susana Oliveira Jorge is Professora Catedrática in FLUP, where she teaches later prehistory. Her publications include O Passado é Redondo. Dialogando com o Sentido dos Primeiros Recintos Monumentais (2005), A concepção das paisagens e dos espaços na Arqueologia da Península Ibérica (with A.M.S. Bettencourt and I. Figueiral) (2007), Arqueologia. Percursos e Interrogações (with V.O. Jorge) (1998), Incursões na Pré-história (V.O. Jorge) (1991).

Vítor Oliveira Jorge is Professor Catedrático in FLUP. He teaches later prehistory at FLUP, and is head of the research section on architecture in CEAUCP. His publications include Overcoming the Modern Invention of Material Culture (with J. Thomas) (2007), Approaching Prehistoric and Protohistoric Architectures of Europe from a Dwelling Perspective (2006), TERRA: Forma de Construir (with M. Correia) (2006).

Mark Knight is a Project Officer at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, University of Cambridge. He works predominantly on prehistoric landscapes in the Cambridgeshire Fens with a particular interest in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. He is also a Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery specialist. Publications include journal papers on two large assemblages of Early Neolithic pottery as well as several prehistoric pottery reports in site monographs.

Lesley McFadyen is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Porto, research grant from FCT. Her research examines what happens when material culture studies are directly connected to histories of architecture in prehistoric studies, and she works between British and Portuguese approaches to the evidence. She has held research positions at the universities of Cardiff, Cambridge and Leicester, and before that worked in British commercial archaeology.

João Muralha, first degree in History, and Masters Degree and Ph.D in Archaeology. He works on the practice of architecture and its relations with space in the 3rd millennium BC in the Alto Douro, Portugal. He is a researcher in CEAUCP, and has undertaken several archaeological excavations as well as conducting work in the area of commercial archaeology.

Dulcineia Pinto was born in Porto, May 1980. Degree in Archaeology, FLUP, July 2003. Ph.D Student in Archaeology, FLUP, a member of CEAUCP, and held a research grant from FCT.

Joshua Pollard is Reader of Archaeology at the University of Bristol. His research is focused on the British and north-west European Neolithic; and has included work on depositional practices, materiality, aspects of monumentality, cultural perceptions of the environment, and approaches to the study of Neolithic settlement and routine. His publications include (ed.) Prehistoric Britain (2008), Landscape of the Megaliths: excavation and fieldwork on the Avebury monuments, 1997-2003 (with M. Gillings, D. Wheatley and R. Peterson) (2008), Monuments and Material Culture. Papers in honour of an Avebury archaeologist: Isobel Smith (with R. Cleal) (2004).

Sérgio Monteiro-Rodrigues is Professor Auxiliar in FLUP, where he teaches prehistory and archaeological methodology. After research on the Lower Palaeolithic, his interests have turned to focus on the process of Neolithisation in the north of Portugal, and this was the topic of his PhD thesis.

Maria de Jesus Sanches is Professora Associada com Agregação in FLUP, where she teaches prehistory and prehistoric art. Her research covers the Neolithic to Iron Age in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in the region of Trás-os-Montes. Her main goal is to search in what ways the human prehistoric communities interacted with the territory and how they "built" themselves in a political, social and economic point of view.

Julian Thomas is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester. His principal research interests are in the Neolithic of Britain and North-West Europe, and the theory and philosophy of archaeology. He is a Vice-President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His publications include Time, Culture and Identity (1996), Understanding the Neolithic (1999), Archaeology and Modernity (2004) and Place and Memory: Excavations at the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holme Farm (2007).

Ana Vale is a Ph.D student at the University of Porto (FLUP), research grant from FCT. Her research is on the Chalcolithic walled enclosure of Castanheiro do Vento, Alto Douro, Portugal. She brings together material culture studies and architectural histories in order to produce an understanding of the nature and temporality of the occupation of this site.

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