Located on a hillside dominated by an Iron Age fort (castro), the site of Vale de Mir-Pegarinhos is being studied by Tony Silvino (Éveha) and Pedro Pereira (CITCEM- Porto University).
Tony Silvino (Éveha – UMR 5138, Archéologie et Archéométrie)
Pedro Pereira (CITCEM – Porto University)
Location and historical summary
The site of the Vale de Mir (Pegarinhos) is located in north-west Portugal, approximately 20 km north of Duoro, on the edge of a granite plateau. The site has been known since the 19th century as a castro, which is a fortified settlement on high ground, traditionally dated to the Iron Age. Imposing walls, typically comprised of granite blocs, are one of the most striking aspects of this type of site. With the conquest of the north of the Iberian peninsula by Roman troops under the reign of Augustus, these settlements changed gradually, sometimes with a transfer of populations. The region in which this site is located became part of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, even though Lusitania lay only a few kilometres to the south. Today, this type of settlement is well documented in the north-west of the peninsula, in particular due to the development of archaeological excavations. However, the north-eastern region of Portugal (Tras-os-Montes/Alto Duoro) still suffers from a lack of systematic research projects. The Iron Age-Roman transition is still rather poorly understood in this part of the country, as are settlement types throughout Antiquity.
History of research
The history of research at this site is limited to the work of H. Botelho who in 1896 makes the first references to the castros of the Alijo district. Botelho collected iron objects, millstones and a column shaft from the site. Since that time, only sporadic references appear in the region’s bibliographies. To fill this gap, a four-year research programme (PIOHP) was launched in 2012 by Tony Silvino and Pedro Pereira.
This project’s aim is to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the types of Roman settlement around the village of Pegarinhos, which has two castros within its territory, including Vale de Mir. More broadly, the project aims to learn more about forms of settlement during the Roman period. An attempt will also be made to understand the transition from the Iron Age to Antiquity.
As a result of conducting excavations in a series of trenches, it is now possible to trace the evolution of this site from the Protohistoric period to the end of Antiquity.
The fieldwork seasons took place between 2012 and 2014. 2015 will be the last year of excavation of this four-year project.
How Eveha International Participates