Andrés Teira-Brión

Andrés Teira-Brión
University of Oxford | OX · School of Archaeology

PhD in History
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. MILLET Project (ID: 101018935).

About

51
Publications
11,672
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Citations
Introduction
I am an interdisciplinary archaeologist (archaeobotany, ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology) working on comparative approaches on past and recent agrarian systems and the social implications of farming practices.
Additional affiliations
January 2022 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. MILLET project: "Old crops for new insights: agricultural systems of broomcorn and foxtail millet cultivation in Iberia"
February 2021 - July 2021
University of Vigo
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2002 - November 2019
University of Santiago de Compostela
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (51)
Preprint
This paper deals with the so-called modular kilns, ceramic structures characteristic of the Bronze and Iron Age periods in various regions of Europe. Despite the interest shown in these material forms in recent years, it is still unclear what their function was exactly. However, the dominant interpretation within archaeological research has tended...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, I propose a reassessment of some widespread archaeological claims about millet agrarian practices – double rotation and an increase in cereal production – based on conclusions derived from ethnographic analogy. The reflections presented here arose from experiences during fieldwork, which has transformed my perception of the material...
Article
The Roman economy of the Iberian Peninsula has habitually been characterised in terms of prestige goods and economic activities such as mining, salting, and metallurgy. Apart from the trade in wine and oil, the economy of plant-based foods-less prestigious but more essential in everyday life-has commonly been marginalised in state-of-the-art review...
Preprint
Full-text available
Towns emerged as dynamic economic and political centers during the Middle Ages, giving rise to the emergence of new social classes. As a result of these functions, a new relationship began to be forged with the rural world, which supplied towns with foodstuffs that satisfied new social demands. Archaeobotanical analysis (carpology) allows us to und...
Preprint
The Roman economy of the Iberian Peninsula has habitually been characterised in terms of prestige goods and economic activities such as trade, mining and metallurgy. The analysis of plant-based foods –less prestigious but more essential in everyday life– has commonly been marginalised in state-of-the-art reviews. The O Areal saltworks is exceptiona...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The assimilation of Iron Age communities of the Iberian Northwest into the Roman state is a controversial and still unresolved subject of debate. In order to observe the impact of Roman acculturation, agriculture and the exploitation of wild plant resources offer us the possibility to understand how their lifestyles and the exploitation of the terr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spatial analysis of materials has been and still being crucial in the study of past societies. Archaeologists have developed appropriate theoretical frameworks for addressing the study of material nature, involving aspects such as their distribution, meaning and mobility at different scales. Among others, the macro-scale analysis has been used to d...
Article
Waterlogged woodcrafts and other plant remains were recovered at 65 Arcebispo Malvar Street (Pontevedra, Spain) from contexts from the 13th to 19th centuries AD, although most of the artefacts were concentrated in accumulations of organic remains dating to the 15th century AD. The site is located close to the harbour (Peirao da Ponte) and the woode...
Article
Full-text available
Recent archaeobotanical data published in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula make it possible to trace the evolution of vine cultivation with distinctive chronological patterns and internal characteristics. Pollen, carpological and charcoal analyses have identified the presence of Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris in the natural environment and...
Chapter
Full-text available
We summarize the results about the research of pottery from the Galician “castros” or hill forts, ordered by location and time. We show some of the issues addressed, with created protocols and the applied criteria, in the framework of research on artefacts of the “Castrexa” culture, where the team of Grupo de Estudos para a Prehistoria do NW Ibéric...
Article
Full-text available
The existence of a fire event at the Iron Age hillfort of Nabás, which is located on the southern bank of the Ría de Vigo (Galicia, NW of the Iberian Peninsula), favoured an extraordinary preservation of carbonised plant remains and offered an unusual opportunity to focus our research on the study of the final episode of a house life-cycle. The arc...
Article
Background and Aims Vitis vinifera seeds from one Medieval and two Roman‐era archaeological sites in Galicia (north‐western Spain) were morphologically compared to seeds of different cultivated varieties (V. vinifera subsp. sativa ) in the same areas and with those of wild grapevines (V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris ) from different parts of Spain an...
Research
Full-text available
Resumen: Uno de los grandes retos de la arqueología hoy en día es reivindicar a las personas "escondidas" detrás de objetos y estructuras. La cultura material es una fuente de datos privilegiada, puesto que puede ser observada desde muchas perspectivas, una de ellas es su lectura en clave de artesanía, de oficios. Con su estudio podemos establecer...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Millets cultivation were spreading in NW Iberia during the Late Bronze Age. Since this period, and most probably until the arrival of Zea mays at the end of the 16th century, millets (Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica) were fundamental crops of the agrarian systems, until the 20th century when they disappeared from most of the regions where the...
Thesis
Nos comezos do I milenio a.n.e., a converxencia dunha serie de dinámicas no noroeste da Península Ibérica cristalizaron nun marco de relacións sociais, cimentadas sobre un modelo de asentamento novidoso, o castro. A agricultura foi un dos eixes económicos vertebradores deste proceso. Os cultivos e as especies vexetais silvestres tiveron roles cambi...
Article
Full-text available
This work presents the first results of carbon isotope (δ13C) analysis of seeds (Triticum dicoccum, Triticum aestivum/durum, Triticum cf. spelta and Hordeum vulgare L.) from archaeological contexts from the settlement sites of A Fontela and Castrovite in Northwest Iberia, which cover a chronological range between 1050 cal BC and 25 cal AD. In addit...
Article
This paper presents an overview of the current state of research on Roman, Late Antique and medieval agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula through the study of archaeobotanical samples (seeds and fruits) collected on a large number of rural and urban sites spread throughout Iberia's geography. It includes published and unpublished data. The plant ta...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper describes an interdisciplinary approach to wood charcoal production in the Iberian Peninsula, which draws on archaeological, archaeobotanical, ethnographic and historical evidence from a chaîne opératoire perspective. For this purpose, several samples from the charcoal kiln of Folgoso (Galicia, Spain) were studied. The archaeological exc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Se presentan los resultados antracológicos de muestras recuperadas en el interior de un tipo peculiar de estructuras: las fosas subrectangulares y alargadas de perfil en U de los yacimientos de Vilamerelle y A Pataqueira (Palas de Rei, Lugo). Este tipo de estructuras negativas son, hasta el momento, excepcionales en el Noroeste Ibérico, aunque exis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Se presentan los resultados arqueobotánicos de las muestras recuperadas en el interior de estructuras vinculadas a una construcción anular identificada en el yacimiento de Ventosiños (Coeses, Lugo) y que tiene una cronología del Bronce Final a partir de las dataciones obtenidas (Piay et al. 2015: 73). Las estructuras arqueológicas identificadas en...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Galician coast (Northwest Spain) is irregular and contains several estuaries that form natural ports (Solórzano 2009). Pontevedra’s harbour is placed at a natural shelter in the Lérez river mouth, a place with defensive advantages and protection from the wind. Pontevedra had a commercial wharf, Peirao da Ponte, built in 1339 located inside the...
Article
Pits are the most common archaeological features in late prehistoric Europe, yet their function and formation dynamics remain obscure. This paper draws on stratigraphy, contextual observations, and a novel analytical protocol to address such topics. The article presents an interdisciplinary and comparative post-excavation procedure to evaluate some...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Pits are common archaeological features in open-air later prehistoric settlements. They were dug in the ground by past communities for multiple purposes (Miret 2006, Schiffer 1987), and when they lost their primary function were suitable for rubbish disposal or even for single acts of deposition –artefacts buried showing signs of deliberate arrange...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Until the 80's of the 20th century, the archaeological research from Neolithic to Bronze Age in NW Iberia was focused on burial sites and rock art. Since then, several research projects and rescue excavations brought new data on housing and domestic contexts during Late Prehistory. In some of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age open-air settlements stu...
Poster
Full-text available
Waterlogging favoured the preservation of several wooden objects and fruits inside the first medieval ditch that surrounded the city of Santiago de Compostela. The wooden assemblage in the bottom of the fill was integrated by a yoke and two bowls in a context dated from 855 to 981 cal AD (78,6% probability -2 sigma-). Also one dish, in association...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The occurrence of several fire-events during the occupations of the Iron Age site of Castrovite (A Estrada, Pontevedra, Spain) favoured the in situ preservation of a large amount of carbonised remains. The archaeobotanical analysis of these evidences provides information about agriculture, seed storage, wood resources management and even forestry p...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this text is to present the results of the carpologic analysis from the Banco de España excavation. The remains were preserved in a waterlogged environment, and they were deposited inside a detritus pit made in the filling of the first medieval ditch of Santiago de Compostela. Cereals and fruit trees are the most recovered taxa, as well...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The hillfort of Castrolandín (Pontevedra, Spain) was inhabited since 4th century BC to 1st century AD. The objectives of studying charred plant remains have been: 1) to obtain information about the patterns of firewood consumption similarities and differences between phases of occupation or areas of the settlement, 2) to provide insight into spaces...
Article
Full-text available
Having found Setaria italica (foxtail millet) and Panicum miliaceum (broomcorn millet) still being cultivated traditionally in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, we carried out ethnographic interviews with farmers to help us document an agricultural process on the verge of extinction. Crop processing of S. italica and P. miliaceum varies depending...
Article
Full-text available
The archaeological works that took place in 2013 within the A Rocha Forte castle -Santiago de Compostela, NW Spain discovered part of a medieval necropolis (dating between AD 1300 and 1400). Complete osteological, paleopathological and taphonomical analyses were performed in human remains from three burials. A minimum number of three male individua...
Article
Full-text available
Querns are the most abundant lithic artefacts found in northwestern Iberian Iron Age settlements, although they are given relatively little consideration compared to research into other finds. Knowledge of them is very skewed, bordering on the repetitive, and almost always centred on the same issues: the shape of the artefacts; when rotary querns w...
Article
Full-text available
Memory is the cognitive process that codifies, stores and retrieves past actions that are perceived in the present, generating our remembrances and perceptions of the past and informing our knowledge of the world around us. Memory can also be contained within the inert, with some materials having the ability to return to their original form in reac...
Chapter
Full-text available
The remains of baked clay structures with perforated bases have been found on several Iron Age sites in NW Iberia, with various interpretations as to their function. Following a new typological attribution of examples from the hillfort of Castrovite, a study is presented of one of the most complete combustion chambers from the site of Castromao, ma...
Poster
Full-text available
Portable ceramic firing/baking chambers have been found in fifteen Iron Age and Roman period sites in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. They are circular in plan with a diameter ranging from 55–65cm. Their fabric is poorly tempered, often quite roughly finished, with only one decorated example discovered so far. In the archaeological literatu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with consumption of fruits of Prunus avium/cerasus in northwestern Iberia during historical period. The carpological remains studied have been obtained from four archaeological sites. While one of them is a Roman settlement, the remaining three are Medieval sites, two of which are in an urban context. Our main purpose is to develop...
Article
Full-text available
References to the existence of historic remains in NW Iberian caves are frequent. However, archaeological research tends to focus on the search for evidence of older occupations, with little attention given to these historic levels. The aim of this article is to present the results of archaeobotanical analysis (charcoal analysis and carpology) from...
Article
Full-text available
Galicia has a long tradition of excavation of Iron Age sites from the end of the nineteenth century. Despite the large quantity of research, the exchange of generated data continues to be opaque and rarely expressed in interoperable formats. As such, its use does not usually result in increasing scientific or professional quality. In this text a bi...
Article
Full-text available
The charcoal analysis results of the firewood consumption, as well as the carpological ones of seeds and fruits, in two caves with roman and medieval levels located in the eastern part of the Lugo province (Galicia), NW Iberia, are analyzed. The results arise from the anthropic exploitation of occasional or permanent sites situated in not very popu...
Article
Full-text available
The article is conceived as a methodological essay for the integration of information from excavations with different records in a database collated for the Iron Age. Castrovite is used as a practical case of reflection at the same time it provides news in the interpretation of the site.
Article
Full-text available
Los estudios arqueobotánicos no han tenido en el área gallega un gran desarrollo en yacimientos medievales exceptuando algunos análisis antracológicos. Tampoco ha sido habitual la aplicación de métodos de identificación de polen y fitolitos para estructuras tipo silos, no solo para esta época sino en la investigación arqueológica del NW peninsular...
Chapter
Full-text available
Agriculture was one of the most frequent topics in the beginning of the archaeology of the Iron Age in Galicia. The first publications referred to Strabon, who speaks in general of the people o f northern Iberia. His texts give us an image of an underdeveloped agriculture, unlike the Mediterranean one. This initial assessment changed throughout the...
Technical Report
Memoria de estudo dos materiais arqueolóxicos recuperados durante as intervencións no castro de Formigueiros (Samos, Lugo) dos anos 2007, 2008 e 2009..
Chapter
Full-text available
The exceptional preservation conditions at the saltworks of O Areal has meant that o numerous carpological remains have been recovered, which were connected to both the use of the salt works and to its phase of abandonment. The presence and introduction of various species indicates changes in woodland exploitation patterns, which reflect a differen...
Article
Full-text available
This procedures of on-site registering of archaeological material and its subsequent deposition in museums, often impedes the dialogue between the recovered material and the information that can be retrieved from it, both at an investigatory level, and in its social and public value. This article attempts, trough the presentation of a case study, t...
Article
Full-text available
Aproximación á Cultura Castrexa base ó estudio do instrumental agrícola a través das ferramentas ou apeiros conservados, mirando a súa tipoloxía e funcionalidade. Sobre esta base, organízase a información sobre traballos agrarios en varios apartados encamiñados a estructurar o sistema agrario a través dos datos aportados pola arqueoloxía, para obse...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Is there any link between windthrows and deforestation processes related to the opening of fields? And references on the archaeological or ethnographic record regarding the methods to pull up the roots of trees and the surfaces left?
Thank you very much.

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Little is known about the cultivation of broomcorn and foxtail millet during the second millennium BC despite its occurrence at archaeological sites. The EU-funded MILLET project will therefore produce evidence from ancient and modern samples from sites in the Iberian Peninsula to better understand its role in agricultural systems. A detailed reconstruction of growing conditions and production techniques will also be recreated by combining stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values with functional weed ecology. The aim is to gain a fresh perspective on the agroecology of these crops, thereby advancing the study of past and present agricultural systems. The project's findings will also inform work on climate change, food, genetic diversity and sustainability associated with traditional knowledge.
Archived project
This project is focused on the study of material culture made of wood and other plant-based materials such as fibers or bark among others.
Archived project
The central aim of this project is to develop a program of interdisciplinary research centred on the study of the symbolic roles of natural places in the construction of a particular vision of the world by the prehistoric communities that inhabited the central and northern regions of the western coast of Portugal, from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. This subject encompasses studies of the relationship between the natural world and the materialities inscribed or constructed upon it, both at synchronic and diachronic levels, bringing in an approach that privileges the actors and meanings intimately linked to the actions themselves. This is an innovative approach in the context of Prehistoric Archaeology of NW Portugal which will allow the re-evaluation of the regional scenario and its integration within the current frameworks used for similar subjects across Europe, looking at cultural convergences, at a wide scale of analysis, and contingencies, at regional and local scales. Thus, we shall consider four different types of materialities, meant to be studied in close articulation: atlantic and schematic ‘arts’; architectures and funerary practices; metal hoards and site-sources of raw materials, understood as loci actively involved in the creation and maintenance of collective identities, by means of mechanism of memory transmission. This project is grounded on previous studies about settlement, economy, funerary practices and metallurgy of the Late Prehistory in the NW, produced on the basis of theoretical perspectives from processual archaeology (Bettencourt 1999, 2003, Bettencourt et al. 2007; Comendador 1998, 1999, 2003; Cruz 2001), on subjects related with rock art, death and metalwork in the region, bringing in cognitive perspectives (Bradley 1997, 2000a; Bradley & Fábregas 1998; Criado, Santos-Estévez & Villoch 2001; Alves 2003; Santos-Estévez 2008; Bettencourt 2008, 2010; Alves & Comendador 2009; Dinis & Bettencourt 2009; Sampaio et al. 2009) and a recent synthesis on Late Prehistory in NW Portugal (Bettencourt 2009). Methodologically, the project sets out from the premises of Landscape Archaeology, Anthropology of Art and Symbolism. From the first, it is specially relevant the perception of the natural space as an active element and not a mere container for human actions (Thomas 1993) as well as the concept of landscape, not as a simple background for economic actions, but as a place for experience and meaningfulness, created in the interrelation between people and the things of the world surrounding them, either physical or constructed (Ingold 2000). Within the scope of the Anthropology of Art and the Symbolic (Layton 1991, Gell 1998), we shall incorporate rock art and architectures as active elements in the symbolic construction of the world, in the maintenance of collective memory and the creation and negotiation of identities. The actual relational analysis of these materialities, by the different researchers will be discussed in Research Meetings, organised on a regular basis. The project results should be articulated with further research on similar topics in ‘Atlantic and Mediterranean Europe’, which will be scrutinised in the International Congress, and published in the proceedings. In social terms, the project results will contribute with an on-line Virtual Corpus of Rock Art in North-west Portugal and with rigorous and systematic scientific background knowledge on archaeological sites for the creation of potential products and resources for the future development of touristic areas, as a means of avoiding reprehensible uses of Heritage sites. Providing the aims, the theoretical and methodological approaches, this project was designed to be led by an interdisciplinary, inter-university and international team, in areas ranging from Archaeology, Phisical Anthropology, Biology, Geology, Geomorphology to New Technologies of Information, belonging to ID-CITCEM and other Portuguese Research Units, Spanish and English, as well as it incorporate a foreign consultant from the University of Cork.