Pram-CV: Looking for the early medieval peasants in northwestern Serra de São Mamede (Castelo de Vide, Portugal).

Pram-CV is a research project in archaeology which aims to study the early medieval peasant communities that lived in the territory of Castelo de Vide, a Portuguese village in the northern Alentejo region. The Pram-CV is hosted by the Institute of Medieval Studies (IEM, FCSH/NOVA) and supported by the Câmara Municipal of Castelo de Vide.

Fig1 PramCV

On this Day of Archaeology a team of Pram-CV researchers dug test pits on the archaeological site of Tapada das Guaritas. The results obtained so far suggest the presence of an olive mill, dated from the transition between Late Antiquity and Early Medieval periods (5th-7th centuries). Another sector of this same site was already excavated in august of 2014 by the Pram-CV team. In that first open area excavation it was possible to identify a household structure with evidence of activities such as weaving, forge, cereal grinding… and over one hundred domestic ceramic vessels. What motivated the excavation works in the first place was the presence of several rock-cut graves in both sectors. This kind of funerary structures, most common in the Iberian Peninsula, are held as one of the most important landscape markers for analysing Early Medieval rural settlements.

Fig2 Test pit team (PramCV)

Pram-CV is a spearhead project looking forward to shed new light into the early dark ages. The works carried out so far include surface field surveys, geospatial analysis, archaeological excavations, micromorphological sampling of sediments, material culture analyses and the study of faunal and botanical remains.

Fig3 - Ceramic vessel recovery (PramCV)

Between the 10th and 30th of next August there will be a new open area excavation with Pram-CV researchers, archaeological technicians of the municipality and undergraduate students from Portuguese and Spanish universities.

Fig4 Archaeological works (PramCV)

Another of the Pram-CV’s core targets is social outreach and the involvement of the local community in these activities. Throughout August and September the new findings will be made available to the general audience trough talks, visits and exhibitions, focused on the archaeological works.

Fig5 Field record (PramCV)