School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK
+44 (0)28 9097 5287
Vegetation and cultural land-use history of the Cabreira Mountain, NW Portugal
The Cabreira Mountain is located in Northwest Portugal and occupies an area of approximately 1750ha and has a maximum altitude of 1262meters. A recent archaeological survey revealed a large series of sites whose relative chronologies from the 5th millennium BC to the 19th century AD, in the mountain area. The archaeological sites include Mesolithic rock shelters, Neolithic/Early Bronze tumuli and necropoles, Iron Age hillforts, Roman settlements and a Roman road (Via XVII), medieval settlements and modern structures related to herding in the high mountain. The sites indicate a long history of occupation of the territory, and represent an extensive range of past human activities in the Mountain.
Some of the archaeological sites are located in close proximity with wetland deposits. The wetland habitat in this mountain is extremely fragmentary and has no cartographic expression. Despite this fact there are neither surveys nor cartography of them. In addition to the absence of specific studies about the nature of this wetland deposits, there is a lack of information regarding their extension, distribution and their potential to contribute to the reconstruction of the regional palaeoenvironment or to the understanding of past human activities in the study area.
The aim of this research is to have a better understanding of the human landscape and the relationship established between man and the environment throughout the different archaeological periods. The project will help to address the following questions:
What was the environmental setting for each archaeological period?
What was the impact of agriculture and grazing on the environment?
Was past human activity in the region sporadic or continuous?
This study will undertake a palaeoenvironmental investigation of the wetlands in the Cabreira Mountain, and through palynological studies of the deposits and 14C dating, will attempt to reconstruct the vegetation and cultural land-use histories of the area.
I have completed my undergraduate degree in Archaeology (Licenciatura) in 2004, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal. After the degree completion, I have worked as a field archaeologist and as a co-director in several archaeological projects, both Ireland as in Portugal.