Archaeology And Architecture In The Iron Age Hillforts Of Northwest Portugal
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The Castro Culture roughly corresponds to the northwest of Iberia, from the Iron Age through the first centuries of the Roman Period (ca. 900 B.C.E. — 100 C.E.). Castro sites are defined primarily by their status as hillforts, but they share several other distinct characteristics. For example, there is an overwhelming prevalence of circular structures. The apparent ubiquity of this architectural trend has been emphasized to such an extent that the Castro Culture is often perceived as a culture of “round-houses.” While this terminology suggests familiarity, the Castro Culture as a whole is poorly understood. Large-scale, in-depth investigations of castro architecture are quite few, and those that have been produced exclude most Portuguese sites. Speaking purely in terms of architecture, no more than a handful of castros in Portugal have been thoroughly considered in a regional context. Furthermore, previous architectural monographs have tended to take a broad approach that overlooks essential details. This thesis seeks to provide a thorough account of the architectural remains of three castro sites in Northwest Portugal: Santa Luzia (Viana do Castelo), Sa?o Lourenc?o (Esposende), and Terroso (Po?voa de Varzim). A detailed account of the architectural evidence for these three sites is provided, and a few other sites are considered in minimal detail for the sake of making specific comparisons. The fundamental contribution of this thesis is to demonstrate the most effective path forward, establishing the foundations for an updated synthesis of the architecture of the Castro Culture in Northwest Portugal.