Scientific Research An Academic Publisher. There are cart-ruts all around the world considered to be ancient. But are the Azorean cart-ruts ancient? Addressing this question can be confusing, because all cart-ruts in the Azores have been considered to be man-made within the context of the Portuguese economy of the islands from the 15 th to 17 th centuries. We need to look at the cart-ruts phenomenon more holistically, taking into account several features across time and places, and with multiple scientific perspectives stemming from history, ethnography, physics, chemistry, geology, genetic, ecology, economy, culture, etc.
If we assume the use of the ruts for transport of any kind of goods, the only coherent hypothesis will be wood. If wood were carried out off the Guilherme Moniz Caldera the place where The Passage of the Beasts is installe a huge amount must have been transported and that implies probably exportation.
Azorean cedar is not present at the place where the studied cart-ruts are. This could be also associated to ecological constrains that made the Juniperus brevifolia Seub. The mean altitude of the Guilherme Moniz caldera is close to m and is a flattened area.
These two facts weaken the previous hypothesis, if the landscape has been preserved intact since Portuguese colonisation. It is possible that the original vegetation cover has been partially destroyed by human activity during historical times. In the past, the Juniperus brevifolia distribution on Terceira Island could be different from today.
Today this species mostly occurs at higher elevations, but evidence from historical records Frutuoso, suggests it grew at much lower elevations in the past. To understand the place it was important to know their geological context, because the geologic past offers a sobering perspective on the rates of human resource use and environmental degradation or space occupation. Figure 1 shows the location map of where the cart-ruts occur in relation to volcanoes of the island. Figure 1. Simplified geologic map of Terceira Island adapted from Quartau et al.
Terceira Island grows and evolves by the action of several geological processes. Their present-day morphology is the result of the activity of volcanic, erosional, depositional, tectonic, isostatic, eustatic, and mass-wasting processes Ramalho et al. The extension of the parallel ruts thus found was m. Another cleaning of The Passage of the Beasts ruts was undertaken inand the extension of the ruts is much greater than thought.
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At this moment this extension of the ruts are greater than m, and the deepest groove found measured 40 cm. The degree of rut incision varies considerably from traces 3 cm to 40 cm.
The ruts show a persistent rounded U-shaped profile, exhibiting a more flattish shape only where duplication or crossings has occurred see Figure 2 and Figure 3. Figure 2. Figure 3. Ruts deep and crossings average 30 cm depth. The grooves at the end of the left side where filled with volcanic ashes. The gauge characteristics of the tracks vary from 1. When we compare these measures with those ones reported by Hughes for the Maltese cart-ruts, the distances between paired ruts are shorter but the depth of the tracks is similar.
When we measure the distance between ruts along the main trail, it is possible identify at least five distinct distances see Figure 4 :. The maximum distance between ruts was observed near a crossing with an X shape with well-defined triangles. Looking from above, this resembles intersecting railway lines, with their turns and junctions in several route directions see Figure 5.
The 1. The only explanation for the fracture here is that the rock had been moved by seismic activity after the rails were used, but the seismic activity is not able to explain the enlargement of the distance between parallel ruts.
Figure 4. The black line represents the standard deviation. Figure 5. Aerial view of The Passage of the Beasts with few unearthed branches.
The image of a man standing up there serves as scale Assigned to this work from Paulo Pereira, The statistical distribution of the measurements is not Normal and tends to fit a Poisson distribution. When we remove the extreme high values outliers and test our data again we are then close to the Normal distribution. If we remove the outliers, is not possible to explain the distance between parallel ruts by the use of ox-carts over decades because the axis of the oxcarts were not extensible or were not made with the same and precise standards during decades or centuries.
This correlation is not related to local variations in the hardness of the rock because the incisions are observed in the same lava flow. Like in Figure 4an outlier appears connected with the observed fracture. Both statistical distributions are Normal, even we include the outlier. If we exclude the outlier we are able to explain the widths of both grooves because, when one wheel of a car, or a fix device, slides to the left side, the other wheel or extreme of the device slides into the same direction.
This result seems to contradict the conclusions about the distance between parallel grooves along the main trail, but it is clear that we have four distinct distance between grooves, with the same sliding effects see Figure 7 when we remove the outliers.
To explain the observed trends we must admit that the axis of the device that produced the grooves varied or the bed rock has expanded or has compressed through time. We can argue that this suggests an unknown seismic activity on the site, but the fact that the grooves are carved in rigid volcanic rock make this explanation unlikely.
Figure 6. Correlation between the widths of the right and the left grooves. Figure 7. Distance between parallel grooves versus width of the left side groove. Only a few places of the studied cart-ruts appear to have a direct correspondence between the depth of the right and the depth of the left grooves.
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Globally, no correlation was found between the depths of the grooves along the main trail. Both depth data distributions are Normal and are not related with a chemical heterogeneity of the stone or different slopes of the bed rock where the ruts are. Several branches on the main cart-ruts were found, which means, ruts adjacent to the main paired tracks, with crosses and links with each other.
It is not easy to explain these derivations that in some cases turn up again. The closest known historical road coincides with the modern road.
During the recent cleaning and unearthing of the tracks, new connections between ruts were perceived as it was inferred that volcanic deposits obscured earlier ruts. Terceira Island presents active volcanism and a significant seismic activity which can explain the observed fracturing of the bed rock.
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Since Terceira Island settlement in the 15 th century, only one volcanic eruption took place on land in Before that time we find several candidate eruptions, the most recent related with Pico Alto Volcanic Complex: a tightly spaced cluster of trachyte domes and short flows, which is a younger part of Guilherme Moniz Volcano. It has a radius of 6 km and culminates at an elevation of m, with a 3. Guilherme Moniz Volcano has developed with the initial formation of an imposing shield volcano.
Subsequently, it evolved into a more explosive character, culminating in the caldera collapse, which occurred less than about thousand years ago Gertisser et al. Figure 8. Unearthed groove filled above with volcanic ashes. Pico Alto eruption seems to be the youngest candidate if the observed ashes comes from a volcanic eruption rather than deposited by erosion of older pyroclastic deposits or an unknown human activity on the area. The Caldera floor is covered by young basalts erupted from the adjacent fissure zone.
The pyroclastic flows erupted from Pico Alto, in the central part of the Terceira Island, generally followed topographic depressions towards the North and South coasts. The pyroclastic flows from Pico Alto travelled over flat interfluve surfaces where they left thin deposits Self et al.
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We can clearly see that in other branches of the cart-ruts were we found pyroclastic accumulations with 50 cm to 2 m of thickness. The pyroclasts found inside the cart-ruts varies from agglomerate to very fine ashes and tuffs. Figure 9. Branch of unearthed cart-ruts, with pyroclasts in front and lateral sides. Given the uncertainty regarding to the time when the ashes covered the cart-ruts, it was important to study the configuration of the volcanic material laid on the top of them.
In all the sampled places, except in the first point, the grooves were filled with a Birm Horizon a cemented Horizon or placic Horizon above a small layer of fine pumice. Above the Birm Horizon it was found, except in site 1 and 7, a layer of fine pumice. In the site 1 the less extended and variable profile it was found basaltic lapilli under a Bt Horizon probably a transformation of the C Horizon with clay accumulation indicated by finer soil texturesand in site 7, the fine pumice layer was above a layer of trachytic lapilli.
Sites 2, 6 and 7 present a reddish brown Bir Horizon on the top of the pumice layer.
The site 2 also has a Bir Horizon on the top of a Bt Horizon, and site 7 has a Bir Horizon in the middle of a volcanic tuff layer.
These Bir Horizons reveal the stability of the above volcanic material layers. Figure Altitude of the sampling points to determinate the general pattern of the horizons. The same temporal stability seems to be present at sampled site 7, because the volcanic tuff layer, above the fine pumice layer, seems to result from the compaction of the ash onto a solid rock by consolidation.
The consolidation involves a decrease in the water content of the saturated soil without replacement of water by air.
In general this is the process in which reduction in the volume takes place by expulsion of water under long term static loads. This can explain, at site 7, the existence of a pumice layer less consolidated under a volcanic tuff layer. Sites 2, 4, 5 and 6 present small Bt Horizons that only show clay skins on vertical ped surfaces. An A Horizon was present on sites 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Taking into account all the results, the thickness of the A Horizons seems to correlate negatively with the thickness of the O Horizons. Globally, the seven profiles seem to have different pedogenic processes related with the natural organization of particles that forms discrete units separated by pores or voids.
The observed layers also seemed dependent of the vertical water infiltration and points to a long temporal stability, which means unchanging horizons in quantity, quality or physical conditions.
When we look to site 7, located few meters away from site 3, the horizons seems to have different origins with volcanic ash consolidated on site 7 and not at site 3. The pumice deposits found at the studied sites are compatible with last largest sub-plinian pumice deposits erupted from Pico Alto, and also compatible, with the isopach map of pumice deposits for such years eruption, produced by Self No older soils were found on Guilherme Moniz Caldera, or around the sampled sites, able to remobilized carbon to these places from more developed surrounding soils.
No paleosols interbedded within tephra layers were observed. All this seems to mean that either the pedogenesis was incipient because of the lack of time between volcanic episodes or because of the unfavourable morphological position of the deposits, or, being well developed, the upper horizon may have been eroded. If an erosion surface was not observed to truncate a placic horizon, the dating obtained through him, although it represents rigorously only a terminus post quem, must be close to the real age of the volcanic ashes above this horizon.
To have certainty about the age of the materials above the cart-ruts, a blackish-brownish layer placic Horizon formed inside the grooves were analysed. The studied layer was cemented mostly by iron, manganese and organic matter see Figure The placic horizon generally has a thickness between 2 mm and 10 mm USDA, The placic found onto the cart-ruts has a thickness between 2 mm and 3 mm. Most placic horizons occur in areas of moist climates with low evapotranspiration as in this case.
The pumice layer was inside a groove at site 6, and the placic horizon is above the brown iron rich layer. Research on placic horizons genesis suggests that the iron is reduced and mobilized in the horizon surface, than oxidized and precipitated in the B horizon, where it can adsorb soluble organic matter USDA, The placic horizons form in material with a variety of textures ranging from sands or volcanic ashes to clays.
In the British Isles the placic Horizons occur under peat-forming ericaceous or grassy semi natural vegetation, which was a years look-a-like forest that was subjected to periodic burns USDA, Similarly, the Guilherme Moniz Caldera vegetation is composed essentially by native vegetation of Erica azorica Hochst.
No traces of fire near the area of cart-ruts were observed. In order to cross this chronology with further dating methods, a sample of placic horizon see Figure 12collected inside a groove of one unearthed cart-rut was taken for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry AMS dating.
The sample was sieved through a micrometre sieve. At a first glance, the material caught in the sieve did not appear to be organic due to the fact of having large amount of iron and manganese. The factors influencing the formation of these cemented horizons are poorly understood, and it was assumed that the sample had also organic matter.
The sample was than treated with a stronger acid to break up and dissolve the iron and the emitted CO 2 recovered. In wet or flood plains, a dated sample may be composed of carbon from several sources, which may have been younger or older than the level it was deposited in, but normally younger pyroclastic products pumice falls associated with pyroclastic surges, pumice flows or volcanic breccias cover the older deposits.
It is also possible to have run water through the impermeable grooves, in the bed rock, which can bring in carbon of younger ages. Thus, as far as we could see at different profiles, and taking into account the cart-ruts slopes, the cavities on Guilherme Moniz Caldera and the isopachs of the pumice dispersions of the Pico Alto eruptions, any 14 C ages from such placic horizons could simply be seen as a minimum age terminus post quem for the grooves.
We have no any kind of evidence of water re-deposition of ashes or erosion on the different horizons, except on the topsoil. This result is compatible with the estimated of Calvert et al.
We only can say that they are likely to be pre-Portuguese. Taking into account the humidity and rain patterns of the island and soil profile of the Guilherme Moniz Caldera little top soilno irrigations system was needed for agricultural production at that place assuming that the climate has never changed, being the same described by Gaspar Frutuoso when the first settlers arrived to the Azores.
These grooves are parallel to a natural water line and have a water catchment nearby. It seems unlikely that these grooves were used for irrigation, drainage or agriculture. The irregularity of the surface of the bed rock, where the ruts are made, points towards an explanation other than the extensive use of ox-carts. It seems difficult for animals with hooves, like oxen, horses or donkeys to move across the irregular shape of the bed rock with the observed slopes.
At the Azores, traditionally, the ox-carts were pulled by two oxen, but at this place part of the cart-ruts system is embedded in the ground and only permits the passage of a lonely animal. The presented chronology for the Passage of the Beasts is consistent with previous chronologies that point towards human presence in Terceira Island in or before the 11 th century and also contributes towards the emerging literature on pre-Portuguese presence in the Azores Islands.
Furthermore, our analysis seems to confirm an important observation made by Drummond the most complete and authoritative historian of Terceira Island, thus addressing an important hypothesis within the Azorean historiography that had not been subject to scientific testing so far. This enables integration between scientific and historiographical elements that provides a fruitful route for future investigation, even if much further work is still necessary in order to identify a clear archaeological context for further inferences on which specific culture may have existed in the Azores Islands before Portuguese arrival.
Geowest, 27, Tearing Secrets from the Land. Mendes, O. Barcelos, L. The Oxcart Grooves. The Oracle, 2, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Ilhas de Arqueologia. The Maltese Cart-Ruts. Man, 18, Corvo esconde relheiras longas e intactas. DI, Annaes da Ilha Terceira. Juniperus brevifolia Seub. It is represented in the Council of Ministers by a representative appointed by the president of the Republic, which was created during the revision of the constitution of which, among other things, removed the older Portuguese representative that was appointed by the president of the Republic, beholden to the Council of State and coincident with the president.
The islands of the archipelago do not have independent status in law, except in electoral law and are governed by 19 municipalities that subdivide the islands. These civil parishes still retain their titles of "vila" in name only; the populations of Capelas and neighbouring parish still protest the change and promote the restoration of their status.
The municipalities are further subdivided into several civil parishes, with the exception of Corvo the only municipality by law without a civil parish, owing to its size. Although the PS dominates the regional politics, the PSD is traditionally popular in city and town council elections. The Azores, like Madeira and the Canary Islandsare among member state territories with special statusas one of the designated "Outermost Regions".
Each of the nine islands has an airport,  although the majority are airfields rather than airports. The remaining, except for Lajes Fiel are operated by the Regional Government. Lajes is a military airbase, as well as a commercial airport, and is operated by the Portuguese Armed Forces in conjunction with the United States. The Azores has had a long history of water transport to overcome distances and establish inter-community contacts and trade. Consequently, the shipbuilding industry developed in many islands, from small fishing boats, to whaling sloops to larger passenger services.
Afterthe Insulana Shipping Company was the only entity responsible for regular traffic between the islands except CorvoMadeira and the United States.
For the next 20 years, commercial maritime service between the islands ceased except between Faial-Pico and Lajes das Flores-Vila do Corvo. Almeidawho is now the holder of a majority stake in the company. Azoreans have developed their own distinct regional identity and cultural traits, from a combination of continental Portuguese customs brought by various waves of immigration and local political and environmental factors.
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Religious festivals, patron saints and traditional holidays mark the Azorean calendar. These festivals are very important to the Azorean people, who are primarily Roman Catholic, and combine religious rituals with processions celebrating the benevolence and egalitarianism of neighbours. The events focus on the members of local parishes, not tourists, but all are welcome, as sharing is one of the main principles of the festivals.
Pilgrims from within the Portuguese diaspora normally travel to Ponta Delgada to participate in an afternoon procession behind the image of Christ along the flower-decorated streets of the city. Although the solemn procession is only held on one day, the events of the Festival of Senhor Santo Cristo occur over a period of a week and involve a ritual of moving the image between the main church and convent nightly, ultimately culminating in the procession, which is televised within the Azores and to the Portuguese diaspora.
It is marked by social and cultural events connected to the tradition of whale hunting. The Wine Harvest Festival or Festa das Vindimastakes place during the first week of September and is a century-old custom of the people of Pico. Also, the Semana do Mar Sea Weekdedicated almost exclusively to water sportstakes place in August in the city of Horta, on Faial.
Carnaval is also celebrated in the Azores. Parades and pageants are the heart of the Carnaval festivities. There is lively music, colorful costumes, hand-made masks, and floats. The traditional bullfights in the bullring are ongoing as is the running of bulls in the streets. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean. Autonomous Region in Portugal.
Autonomous Region. Coat of Arms. Antes morrer livres que em paz sujeitos English: "Rather die free than subjected in peace". Mount Pico. Atlantic Ocean. Main article: History of the Azores. Main article: Conquest of the Azores. See also: Liberal Wars. Main article: Political status of the Azores.
Main article: Aviation in the Azores. Retrieved 15 November Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Retrieved 31 May Collins English Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 26 October History of the Azores, or Western Islands. Oxford University. V The First Imperial Age.
Unwin Hyman. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 25 May Retrieved 22 June Retrieved 22 July Retrieved 15 September Archived from the original on 5 March Retrieved 15 April A list of the terrestrial and marine biota from the Azores. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 7 March Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Michael 10 December Encyclopedia of Earth. Washington D. Retrieved 10 January Retrieved 18 May Azores Weather. Archived from the original on 14 May Retrieved 5 May Retrieved 1 March Instituto de Meteorologia.
Retrieved 9 July National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Briefing for the European Parliament. Retrieved 3 September Sonnenburg BMC Research Notes. American Journal of Human Biology.
The Azores (/ ? ? z ??r z / ?-ZORZ, also US: / ? e? z ??r z / AY-zorz; Portuguese: Acores [??so???]), officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores (Regiao Autonoma dos Acores), is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal (along with Madeira).It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1, km ( Tired of paying for online dating sites? You can find fun, attractive men and women from Azores for FREE right now. Just click on the city in Azores nearest to you to meet quality singles looking to chat. multicoingames.com is one of the top free online dating services to meet people from all over multicoingames.com gimmicks, no tricks, and no subscription fees! Recent scientific evidence on dating has arisen in a novel analysis of lake sediments in Sao Miguel Island (Rull et al., ), which led to the conclusion that there was human activity in the island at least in the 13 th century, well before Portuguese arrival at the Azores in the 15 th century. The evidence of such human activity includes Cited by: 1.
Butler Academic Press. Human Genetics. Archived from the original on 12 May O Jornal. University of California Press. Small worlds, global lives: islands and migration. Continuum International Publishing Group. Archived from the original on 31 December Retrieved 25 December The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 January Retrieved 7 July Retrieved 14 March Archived from the original on 10 March Ponta Delgada AzoresPortugal.
Retrieved 28 August AO Online ed. Retrieved 21 June Horta, Portugal: Tribuna das Ilhas. Archived from the original on 11 July Retrieved 5 September Autonomous Region of the Azores. Corvo Flores.
Dollabarat Reef D. Municipalities of the Azores Autonomous Region. Vila do Corvo. Lajes das Flores Santa Cruz das Flores. Santa Cruz da Graciosa.
Vila do Porto. Calheta Velas. Geographic locale. Regional divisions of Portugal. Azores Madeira. All these divisions are further subdivided into municipalities and parishes. Districts and Autonomous Regions of Portugal. Outlying territories of European countries. Territories under European sovereignty but closer to or on continents other than Europe see inclusion criteria for further information.
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Flag Coat of Arms. Location of the Azores within Europe. Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Source 1: Instituto de Meteorologia . Source 2: NOAA sun, - . CalhetaVelas. Lajes das FloresSanta Cruz das Flores. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Azores. Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Azores. Metropolitan areas Lisbon.
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