Notwithstanding a first intervention conducted by Mário Varela Gomes in the cromlech area in the 1980s, the Perdigões enclosures complex would only be identified in 1996, when the company Finagra acquired and cleared for cultivation about two-thirds of the site. Aerial photography obtained at the time revealed a wide range of ditched enclosures.
Under the direction of Miguel Lago, a diagnostic campaign was carried out in order to assess the impact suffered by the site as well as its scientific and heritage potential. In view of the results, Finagra suspended the planting of vines in the site’s area and established an archaeological reserve zone.
Led by ERA and supported by Finagra, the research started with the development of a project focused on the funerary practices in Perdigões. Sepulchres 1 and 2 would be excavated.
Inauguration of the Perdigões museum room at the medieval tower of Herdade do Esporão, covering the works carried out until then: prospecting and surface collection in 1997 and excavations of Sepulchres 1 and 2.
Within the scope of the UISPP World Congress (Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques), Perdigões was the catalyst for a session and field trip, asserting itself as an international reference in the investigation of prehistoric ditch enclosures. From then on, the site became a recurring presence in national and international congresses. The results were published in Portuguese in the ERA Arqueologia journal and in English in the British Archaeological Reports.
2007 marks the start of the investigation inside the enclosures and the creation by ERA Arqueologia of the Perdigões Global Archaeological Research Program, which articulates in an integrated manner the different and multiplying research activities. It also signals the beginning of collaborations with several Portuguese and foreign research institutions.
Within the scope of a collaboration with the University of Malaga, the geophysical prospecting of the enclosure complex and the cromlech area was carried out. The magnetogram obtained allowed great advances in the interpretation of the site and was established as a guiding basis for research and field interventions.
In a collaboration with the Department of Archaeology of the University of Coimbra, ERA deepened the investigation on funerary practices in Perdigões with a first project approved and financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology.
Supported by Esporão S.A., a new international colloquium on Ditch Enclosures and Funerary Practices was organized at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, with Perdigões being the meeting’s motto and protagonist. The results were published in the British Archaeological Reports.
A new project was approved and financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology. In a collaboration between ERA and ICArEHB – University of Algarve and Hercules Laboratory of the University of Évora, it focused on the transregional interaction and mobility of the populations that circulated through Perdigões.
Integrated into the offer by the Institute for Field Research Creation, the Perdigões School Camp was created, having conducted its first operation in the following year.
Classification of Perdigões as a National Monument. The colloquium “The Enclosures of Recent Prehistory: advances in the study of its architectures and spatialities”, which commemorated the said classification, was organized in a collaboration between ERA and the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists.
The discovery of a Timber Circle, unique in the Iberian Peninsula, in the central area of Perdigões, reinforcing the distinctiveness of the site, has been widely covered in national and international media.