17 to 26 August 2018


A summary on the Previous editions of the AVECASTA Summer Course


AVECASTA 98: MÁQUINA DO TEMPO - Curso teórico-prático de arqueologia e paleoecologia

 AVECASTA 98: TIME MACHINE A theoretical- practical summer course on Archaeology and Palaeoecology

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Gruta da AVECASTA / AVECASTA cave: 16 - 29 Agosto e 30 Agosto - 13 Setembro

AVECASTA cave (Ferreira do Zêzere) 16 to 29 August (1st course) & 30 August to 13 September (2nd course)


Organização / Organization:

1) Laboratório de Paleoecologia (Museu, Laboratório e Jardim Botânico) / Laboratory of Palaeoecology (Botanical Museum, Laboratory and Garden (Natural History Museum - Lisbon University))

2) Associação AVECASTA – Memória Ecológica / AVECASTA - Ecological Memory Association.

Coordenação / coordination: José Eduardo Mateus e Paula Fernanda Queiroz



AVECASTA 99: ARQUEOLOGIA E ECOLOGIA HISTÓRICA DA PAISAGEM - Partilhar a aventura transdisciplinar das ciências do passado

 AVECASTA 99: ARCHAEOLOGY AND LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY HISTORY - Sharing the transdisciplinary adventure of the Sciences of the Past.

 Gruta da AVECASTA / AVECASTA cave – 1 - 12 Setembro 1999

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Organização / Organization:

1) Laboratório de Paleoecologia (Museu, Laboratório e Jardim Botânico) / Laboratory of Palaeoecology (Botanical Museum, Laboratory and Garden (Natural History Museum - Lisbon University))

2) Centro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal (Univ. de Lisboa) / Centre of Ecology and Plant Biology;

3) Câmara Municipal de Ferreira do Zêzere / Municipality of Ferreira do Zêzere;

4) Instituto Português de Arqueologia / Portuguese Institute of Archaeology;

5) Associação AVECASTA – Memória Ecológica / AVECASTA - Ecological Memory Association.


Coordenação / coordination: José Eduardo Mateus e Paula Fernanda Queiroz

Outros docentes / Other professors / lecturers / tutors : Fernando Catarino, João Zilhão, António Monge Soares, Cristina Máguas, Wim van Leeuwaarden, Ana Isabel Queiroz, Miguel Repas, Carlos Manuel Pimenta e José Paulo Ruas.

21 participantes, das áreas da Arqueologia, Biologia, Agronomia, Geologia e Física.

21 participants (background areas: Archaeology, Biology, Agronomy, Geology, Physics)

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AVECASTA 2001:Space and Quotidian Beyond Ruins

Gruta da AVECASTA / AVECASTA cave – 25 Agosto - 2 de Setembro 2001 (25 August - 2 September)

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Organização / Organization:

1) Centro de Investigação em Paleoecologia Humana e Arqueociências do Instituto Português de Arqueologia / Research Centre on Human Palaeoecology and Archaeo-sciences of the Portuguese Institute of Archaeology;

2) Associação AVECASTA – Memória Ecológica / AVECASTA - Ecological Memory Association.

3) Câmara Municipal de Ferreira do Zêzere / Municipality of Ferreira do Zêzere;

 Coordenação / coordination: José Eduardo Mateus e Paula Fernanda Queiroz

Outros docentes / Other professors / lecturers / tutors: Simon Davis, Marta Moreno Garcia, Diego Angelucci, Wim van Leeuwaarden, Francisco Almeida, Cidália Duarte e Ana Cristina Araújo; e com os seguintes monitores: Carlos Manuel Pimenta, Sónia Gabriel, Vitória Távora, José Paulo Ruas, Cristina Gameiro e Vanda Pinheiro.

 36 participantes (Arqueologia e Biologia) / 36 participants (Archaeology and Biology).

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Ancient Territories and Scenic Archaeology

Fourth Edition

17 to 26 August 2018

The New Perspectives



To reconstruct past human achievements in their ecological and social milieux requires detailed analysis at the time of excavation and in the laboratory but also an investment on realistic and vivid re-experimentation of the contextual scenic settings of ancient performances. Well preserved (fossilized) ancient villages are “portals” to the Past, partly made accessible by a Micro-Archaeology with detailed attention to the remains and traces hidden in the fossilizing fine sediment matrices and on the microscopic fabric and surface of materials. Different contexts (ecological, rural, artisanal, consumptional, communicational, symbolic) have to be tested on working (performative and virtual) platforms. Scenic Archaeology reenacts the Past in multiple experiments in simulation to foster actively objectivity through the integration of multiple subjectivities where both researchers and citizens assume a shared role of creative REPLAYING.

In the Avecasta Transdisciplinary Summer Course the participant will follow the adventure from dig to the recreation of an ancient village, taking both buried material evidence and the reference to of the remote oral traditions still echoing in the memories of the communities.

Scenic Archaeology involves the reconstruction of ancient scenarios (constraining  stages / substrates), actors (active eco-physiographic, vegetal, animal, human agents), props (tools) and performances (recurrent, ephemeral, historically-unique, symbolic, “acting”). The archaeological programme must approach these contexts with a scenic perspective in order to provide replayable holistic functional entities.

Working Scheme

The course will be held at the Avecasta Cave during a new excavation campaign. Participants (students) will follow a theoretical and practical training along 6 seminars (some double) which involve conference talks, guided visits (field, lab and cabinet), workshops (with “hand-on” experiences on hardware and software), and guided excavation practices. In general the theoretical classes will take place in the afternoon sessions; the practices in the morning. During the last weekend participants will join the AVECASTA OPEN DAYS where multiple cultural events will take place in the cave and its surroundings.


The participants will be staying in the small town of Ferreira do Zêzere (near Avecasta) in dormitory-style bedrooms with access to adequate hot shower cabinets *. 4 meals will be served (at CRIFZ - breakfast & dinner; at Areias Social Centre - lunch; at Avecasta cave - tea-time break). Transports between the town and the cave will be assured in vans.

Extra optional free programs

The Ferreira do Zêzere Region has a great offer in terms of tourism and recreation programmes. We suggest (cultural and swimming) tours to the village of Dornes, to the Convent of Christ (Tomar), to the Lagoa Azul (Castelo de Bode). Some extra-curricular group activities will be expected (music ad hoc assemblages, astronomy, speleology, field botany).




 CLICK HERE TO CONSULT THE 2018 PROGRAMME           and Information on Previous ASC editions

Avecasta SummerCourse 400     PreviousEditions




17 to 26 August 2018



Professors / lecturers / tutors (click on photos for CVs)


Friday 17 AUGUST 

Afternoon: Arrival (and Wellcome) of the participants at Ferreira do Zêzere (FZ); Pick up course documentation; Check In (accommodation)

19.30 - Dinner (at CRIFZ)

Saturday 18 (at the Avecasta cave - local transports (from town to cave and vice-versa) assumed by the FZ municipality)

I - Ancient territories, eco-physiographies and raw-material provenances

1 Ze 500Paula 500  10.00 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz  Guided visit to the archaeological site 
 2 AdrianoGermano   11.00  Adriano Germano  Geology and Geomorphology of the Avecasta Karstic Landscape 
 3 Ze 500Paula 500   12.00 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz  Ancient Territories under a Systems Ecology Approach (Regional Palaeoecology With Humans)
   LUNCH BREAK 13.00
 4 PatriciaJordao   14.30  Patrícia Jordão  Lithic provenance analysis: raw-materials; methods; questions; case studies
 5 JooCaninasCarlos Neto de Carvalho 64PedroBaptista 64   15.30 João Caninas; Carlos Neto de Carvalho; Pedro Baptista  Tracking the provenance of the building materials from Cabeço da Anta megalithic tomb (Proença-a-Nova, Central Portugal): a Least-Cost Analysis based approach. 
   BREAK  16.30    
    17.00   Introduction to the excavation

Sunday 19 - Free day (touring around the region) - Coventry of Christ (Tomar); Lago Azul and Dornes (Ferreira do Zêzere)

Monday 20

 II - From Archaeology digging to registration, virtual simulation and videogames 

    10.00   Excavation modules
  LUNCH BREAK 13.00    
6 Ze 500 14.30 José Mateus A new scenic paradigm for Archaeology
7 Ze 500 15.00 José Mateus The challenges of the occupation-surface digging and decoding dwelling and artisanal gestures and activities (the micro-archaeology approach)
8 aventura 64Anonimo 64 15.30 António Ventura; Gonçalo de Figueiredo Archaeology and photography
  BREAK 16.30    
9 Ze 500Paula 500 17.00 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz From photogrammetry to interactive virtual Scenography - The virtualization pipeline (3D, simulation, full interactive scenics (videogames))

Tuesday 21

    10.00   Excavation modules
  LUNCH BREAK 13.00    
10 Ze 500Paula 500 14.30 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz The paradigms of 3D modelling of surfaces, structures and artefacts (point clouds, parametric meshes, edited meshes, organic clay-like sculpturing and retopologizing, flux).
11 Ze 500Paula 500 15.00 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz An introduction to the UNREAL engine and its use for Scenic Archaeology
  BREAK 16.30  
12 Ze 500Paula 500AdrianoGermano 17.00 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz Photogrammetry; 3D modelling of an occupation-surface; interactive virtualization (practical session)


Wednesday, 22

III - Ancient Territories, ancien vegetation and ruralities

    10.00   Excavation modules (Photogrammetry Practices)
  LUNCH BREAK 13.00    
13 Ze 500Paula 500 14.30 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz The present-day flora, vegetation and habitats of the Avecasta Region in the context of Holocene Landscape Evolution
14 Ze 500 15.30 José Mateus The cave-settlement as a landscape (fossilization) sink for ancient soils, natural (phyto & zoo) thanatocoenosis, and plant aura reflections.
15 Paula 500 16.00 Paula Queiroz The challenges of Palynology of a cave-settlement - Exploring a diversified palette of palaeo-territorial information sources
  BREAK 16.30    
16 Ginevra 64 17.00 Ginevra Coradeschi Multidisciplinary approach to study archaeological wood and charcoal - Two different case studies 


Thursday, 23

IV - Fire technologies and performances of metal work and pottery

    10.00   Excavation / Micro (collecting, summary diagnose and sorting of micro-fossil assemblages)
  LUNCH BREAK 13.00    
17 Massimo64 14.30 Massimo Beltrame Archaeometric investigation of ancient ceramics - Analytical methods; clay sources; archaeo-technologies and uses; a case-study
18 Ze 500 15.30 José Mateus The Avecasta - the archaeo-metallurgic sub-programme (furnace pits, casting moulds, bone tools, slags, artefacts)
  BREAK 16.00    
19 JorgeCarvalho 16.30 Jorge Carvalho Reenactment staging designs for ancient metallurgy


 Friday, 24

V - Archaeology and Biological Anthropology challenges on cave necropolis

    10.00   Excavation modules
  LUNCH BREAK 13-00    
20 ClaudiaRelvado 14.30 Claudia Relvado Biological anthropology and human pathology - Overviews and perspectives
21 AnaRosaCruz 15.30 Ana Rosa Cruz Archaeology of the Karstic Necropolis of the Nabão River Basin
  BREAK 16.30    
22 PedroMendes 17.00 Pedro Mendes Hypogea, artificial caves, semi-natural, and natural caves - Rock enclosures for Life and Death. 


Sábado, 25

 VI - The challenges of a Scenic Site Museography

    10.00   Excavation modules
23 Ze 500Paula 500 14.30 José Mateus; Paula Queiroz Scenic Archaeology with Performative Humans: The forgotten challenge of the archaeological performance stage (designing a Western European Bronze-Age aedo / bard) - Videogames for Archaeology (a case study)
24 DomingosMorais 15.30 Domingos Morais Oral traditions and Ethno-Performances - Between truth and false, when the body try to learn archaeological knowledge
  BREAK 16.30    
25 JorgeCarvalho 17.00 Jorge Carvalho Monuments and ancient performance recreation - Methods, knowledge and case studies
26 CarlosCarvalheiro 17.30  Carlos Carvalheiro Reviving Drama in Ancient Sites


Cultural and Museographic Events