Campaniforme: a long term phenomenon in the Portuguese Douro basin

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Maria de Jesus Sanches
Helena Barbosa


This paper exposes and discusses the bell beaker phenomenon in the lower Douro river basin, in Portugal (Northwest of Iberian Peninsula) focusing on pottery. It analyses the style, the respective archaeological context, the inner geographic distribution of ceramics and discusses the absolute and relative chronology of about half a hundred sites. We highlight here four case studies and concluded that all styles are present – classic maritime (linear, herringbone); comb-geometric; Palmela / Ciempozuelos, AOC and mixed C / ZM styles and have grosso modo the same chronology, i.e., they are dated of at least the second quarter of the 3rd millennium BCE. Nevertheless the campaniform continued to be used in the second half of the 3rd millennium BCE in this region, being a long duration phenomenon. This paper also emphasize the spatial segregation of the use of bell beaker ceramics, related to ritualized social practices, which purposes would have to do with identity management, regional conflicts or marriage alliance. In Crasto de Palheiros these practices would be of a commensal nature as of intentional deposition.

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de Jesus Sanches/Barbosa 2018: M. de Jesus Sanches/H. Barbosa, Campaniforme: a long term phenomenon in the Portuguese Douro basin. JNA 20, 2, 2018, 23–58. DOI: