Rescue digs in Portugal ahead of dam construction

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Archaeological works that have been going on for two years in the region of the Lower Sabor River in north-eastern Portugal have turned up unique finds dating back millions of years, a source told Lusa News Agency.

Rescue digs in Portugal ahead of dam construction
Archaeologists have documented over 100 sites dating from the Upper Palaeolithic

to the present day in the Sabor valley [Credit: Portugal News]

“We are finishing the field work at more than 100 sites dating from the Stone Age to modern day, said archaeologist Rita Gaspar.

Gaspar told reporters there were three exceptional sites in the Sabor valley, where works would continue for a few more months and others that were already closing down.

At one of the sites, archaeologists found thousands of stones with graven images belonging to what they called “moveable rock art”.

“This is currently the largest Upper Palaeolithic excavation site in Portugal (…) Few in Europe have more than 300,000 pieces to be studied”, she said. Crestelos, near Mogadouro, was also considered to be an important site as it had been inhibited “continually” for more than two million years.

“Here we found Iron Age structures unlike any others in the region”, Gaspar said.

The revelations were all made Friday at the first Archaeological Meeting in Mogadouro that attracted specialists and university professors.

Before work began on a hydroelectric dam on the Lower Sabor, some 300 archaeological sites were known about, but this number has now gone up to 2,300 “a huge increase in archaeological work”, requiring a great concentration of human and material resources, she added.

Source: The Portugal News [April 22, 2013]

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