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Resting in Peace or in Pieces? Tomb I and Death Management in the 3rd Millennium BC at the Perdigões Enclosure (Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal)

Understanding mortuary practices and collective burials in Chalcolithic Portugal

Lucy Shaw Evangelista, with a Foreword by Leonardo García Sanjuán
Publication Year:
226 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 173 tables, 133 figures.
BAR number:


Resting in Peace or in Pieces? studies Tomb I, a tholos type structure found in the Perdigões Archaeological Complex (Évora, Portugal) from the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. The human bone sample (61926 bone fragments and 1579 teeth) found in Tomb I was highly fragmented and skeletonised elements were found completely disarticulated. This book takes a twofold approach to the study of the skeletal sample from Tomb I. The monument is studied according to the archaeological phases defined during field work, which explains the possible differentiated uses of the tomb through time. The skeletal sample is then studied as a whole, regardless of phases of use. Lucy Shaw Evangelista uses the data obtained to paleodemographically reconstruct the individuals buried in the tomb, comparing them with other funerary structures inside and outside the Perdigões ditched enclosures. This research broadens our understanding of mortuary practices and collective burials in Chalcolithic Portugal, situating it within the wider European Copper Age context.

Lucy Shaw Evangelista has worked as an archaeologist and physical anthropologist at Era Arqueologia since 1997. After a degree and Master’s thesis in Prehistoric archaeology at the University of Porto (2004) she concluded her PhD in Physical Anthropology at the University of Coimbra (2018). Her research focuses on funerary practices and architectures amongst the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic populations of SW Iberia.

‘The contribution of this work is enormous for the understanding of the funerary practices during the European Copper Age with special emphasis on the mortuary analysis. There are very few sites analysed in such detail where each phase of deposition can be reconstructed as in Tomb I in Perdigões.’ Dr Marta Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

‘This book will be of high value to anybody who is interested in mortuary archaeology, bioarchaeology, and taphonomy, not just specialists on the Iberian Peninsula but anyone who studies the bioarchaeology of prehistoric populations and especially of collective burials.’ Dr Estella Weiss-Krejci, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Table of Contents (S2955_9781407355306_ToC.pdf, 103 Kb) [Download]

Foreword_Extract (S2955_9781407355306_Foreword_Extract.pdf, 129 Kb) [Download]