By Nelson J. Almeida

Cremation is one of the funerary practices recorded at Perdigões. Pit 40 must be emphasized due to its high minimum number of individuals and ideotechnic objects recovered (Valera, 2014; Valera, 2015). The faunal assemblage from this pit comprises a bit more than two hundred remains, which were analysed aiming to compare these results with the practices identified in the human record (Godinho et al, 2019).

Besides the probable pig, a domestic component corresponds to remains of caprine and bovine, while leporids, cervids and (possible) wild boar represent the wild species. Elements from the appendicular extremities, mainly phalanges, are note worthy. We must highlight the record obtained for swine, with several anatomically compatible distal appendicular bones. Also, some equid proximal phalanges with different anthropic modification degrees were identified (figure), something similar occurring with a less frequency with other species.

Damage due to fire is recorded in over 40% of the faunal assemblage. Its occurrence is mainly in carbonization degrees, while about half of its incidence is divided into initial affectations and the more developed calcination. Preliminarily, data suggest that the treatment paid to fauna is different from the humans, with a selection of anatomical portions and differences in the incidence of burnt damage. These and other aspects will be subjected to detailed publication in the following months. 

Bibliographic References

Godinho, R.M.; Gonçalves, D.; Valera, A.C. (2019) – “The preburning condition of Chalcolithic cremated human remains from the Perdigões enclosures (Portugal)”. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 2019, p. 1-12.

Valera, A.C.; Silva, A.M.; Cunha, C.; Evangelista, L. (2014) – “Funerary practices and body manipulation at Neolithic and Chalcolithic Perdigões ditched enclosures (South Portugal)”, In Valera, A.C. (ed.): Recent Prehistoric Enclosures and Funerary Practices in EuropeBAR, International Series, 2676, p. 37-57.

Valera, A.C. (2015) – “The diversity of ideotechnic objects at Perdigões enclosure: a first inventory of items and problems”. ARPI, 3 Extra, p. 238-256.


Almeida, N. (2021) – Fauna accompanying human cremations from pit 40 of Perdigões, Short Notes,