Ribeira da Ponte da Pedra

The site of Ribeira da Ponte da Pedra (district ofi Santar√©m, Alto Ribatejo, Portugal) is an open air site, extended on the left slope of the little river Ponte da Pedra’s vally, from which it takes its name. The site is situated a few kilometres away from the confluence of Ponte da Pedra with river Tejo, in an extremely interesting area from the geomorphological point of view, in which¬† tertiary deposits, quaternary river terraces and colluvial deposits alternate. The excavation, a long trench (26m) ¬† that from the left slope’s base extends itself up to its peak, was opened with the aim of cutting in its 8m expected difference in hight (from 33-34 m.a.s.l. to 41-42 m.a.s.l) the various geological units: the Miocene substratum, the base of the medium’s terrace Q3 which formed in the Middle Pleistocene, the top/roof of the recent terrace Q4¬† dating to the Late Pleistocene and finally the colluviums. ¬† The main research’s purposes are: 1) to develop a geoarchaeological approach in order to understand the interrelations¬† between the various geological units, in particular between the two terraces; 2.) techno- morphologically characterize the lithical industries observed/identified in the two terraces and their attribution to a precise chrono-cultural contest.