Thomas X. Schuhmacher

Valencina de la Concepción (Sevilla), Spanien/Portugal. Die Arbeiten des Jahres 2017 und des Frühjahrs 2018

The chalcolithic site of Valencina de la Concepción is located in Andalusia in southern Spain, on the western edge of the Lower Guadalquivir river basin. The settlement area and a contemporaneous necropolis of the first half of the 3rd millennium BC extend over more than 460 ha. Valencina de la Concepción is thus one of a series of chalcolithic mega-sites in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The project focuses on the history of the chalcolithic settlement of Valencina de la Concepción. The investigations include excavations and field surveys on the agricultural land in the northern area of the archaeological site, especially the area known as ‘Cerro de la Cabeza’. Furthermore, selected earlier rescue excavations in the adjacent northern part of the modern town are also evaluated. In 2017 we extended the geo-magnetic surveys to the municipal area of ‘Los Pozos – Pozo Bueno’ located to the Southwest of the area surveyed in 2014. Another battery of geomagnetic surveys was carried out in the north of the municipal plot Cerro de la Cabeza and in other neighbouring plots. Dozens of anomalies were documented. On one hand, long rectilinear structures and on the other, dozens of smaller circular or oval elements which may correspond to the floors of prehistoric huts or pits/silos have been identified. According to our interpretation of the anomalies that have been detected, it seems possible that some of the ditches documented during the 2014 survey campaign in the southern area of Cerro Mármol and Cerro de la Cabeza may continue in the area surveyed in 2017, giving us therefore a wider picture of the size and form of the different chalcolithic enclosures. In regards to the archaeological excavation carried out during the 2017 campaign, two sectors were opened, which correspond to an area of interest detected during the 2014 geomagnetic survey. These two sectors are located on top of two circles formed by a series of large pits. The intention was to try and excavate half of one of these circles to determine its nature and function. Given the fact that in Valencina larger huts or domestic structures are yet to be identified, we wanted to verify the hypothesis that these pit circles could constitute domestic units with a hut at the centre and in circle around different workshops, silos and dumps. During the excavation, though there is evidence in the area that indicate the existence of domestic spaces related to these pits, this sector is still too limited to be able to determine the function and relation of these pit circles. The large amounts of lithic findings, especially small rock crystal nucleus, suggest the possible existence of a lithic workshop in the area. For now, provisional ceramic studies indicate that most of the occupation of this area took place during the Middle Chalcolithic pre-Bell-Beaker period, though there do seem to be evidences of a more recent occupation phase, within the Bell-Beaker period and Early Bronze Age.

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