Telmo Pereira

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Lisbon, Autonomous U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10660

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Pereira, Telmo (Lisbon, Autonomous U. of) "SpotyCaves - Remote Sensing detection of LGM occupations and paleoenvironmental deposits"

During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), human populations sought refuge in specific areas, one of them being the limestone massif of the Portuguese Estremadura (MCE – Maciço Calcário Estremenho). Limestone caves and rock shelters are renowned for the preservation of archaeological and environmental data. Nevertheless, the available information about MCE remains limited, due to limited research and its steep cliffs covered by dense and thorny vegetation. Consequently, a significant portion of its area has never been properly surveyed, leaving many sites undiscovered and susceptible to destruction due to construction and quarrying activities. We seek to identify new caves and rock shelters holding evidence of LGM-related occupations and valuable paleoenvironmental data. In the initial phase, we will utilize LiDAR, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to develop a predictive model for locating potential sites. Subsequently, we will conduct Archaeological Ground Truthing through a combination of archaeological surveys, spelunking expeditions and auger tests. This comprehensive approach will lead to a shift from the current map with just a few isolated sites, to one with several dozen confirmed and potential ones. This will significantly contribute to Research and Cultural Resource Management and provide valuable support to decision-makers at both the national and local levels.