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 ... in a Journal

Author:

[Zilhão, João|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Zilhão, João]

Title:

A passagem do Mesolítico ao Neolítico na costa do Alentejo

Journal:

REVISTA PORTUGUESA DE ARQUEOLOGIA

Number:

1

Volume:

1

Year:

1998

Pages:

27-44

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It has recently been argued that a slow piecemeal adoption of the Neolithic package by local hunter-gatherers is documented in coastal Alentejo by a pattern of specialised functionality of settlement sites in the period between 6000 and 5000 cal BC: some would be temporary camps focused on foraging activities while others would be base camps focused on agriculture. Careful taphonomic analysis of the data shows the model to be empirically untenable: the supposed Neolithic temporary camps are pure Mesolithic shell-middens; and the supposed Neolithic base camp, Vale Pincel I, is an extensive, eroded site where post-depositional disturbance created a palimpsest of late Mesolithic, epicardial and middle Neolithic occupations. The ages between ca. 5400 and ca. 5600 cal BC obtained for the hearths radiocarbon dated at Vale Pincel I must relate to the Mesolithic use of the area. Such features are identical to those found at the adjacent pure Mesolithic site of Vale Marim and present a pattern of exposure through differential erosion of underlying Pleistocene sands known at many other coastal Mesolithic sites (such as Ponta da Vigia or Palheirões do Alegra). The typology of the Vale Pincel ceramics independently confirms that the advent of the Neolithic in the area is no earlier than ca. 5000 cal BC.
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