Fruits and seeds from an Iron Age ritual of commensality in Frijão (Braga, NW Portugal)

  • João Pedro Tereso
  • Vítor Manuel Fontes Silva
Keywords: Frijão, Cereals, Acorns, Ritual of commensality, Iron Age


Frijão is a peculiar Iron Age place in Northwest Portugal. Its peculiarity derives mostly from what appears to be the remains of a ritual of commensality found in a pit or ditch.Structures in Frijão were exclusively made of perishable materials. These were destroyed by an apparently man-made and ritual fire that appears to be articulated with a riveted cauldron. In the main structure of the site – a large pit or ditch – several ceramic vessels of different typologies, including several inner-wing pots seem to have been disposed and sealed quickly after being used. In this same structure, fruits of different species were found in association with frequent charcoal and ashes. The analysis that were carried out led to the identification of Quercus acorns and three crops: naked wheat (Triticum aestivum / durum), emmer (Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccum) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum).Unfortunately no sampling strategy was implemented during the field work which makes it impossible to evaluate whether the carpological remains that were studied are representative of what was actually there. It is clear that this context is of the utmost relevance for the understanding of social practices in the regional Iron Age, but unsuitable field work makes its interpretation more difficult.


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How to Cite
Tereso, J. P., & Fontes Silva, V. M. (2014). Fruits and seeds from an Iron Age ritual of commensality in Frijão (Braga, NW Portugal). Estudos Do Quaternário / Quaternary Studies, (11), 67-72.