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Showing posts from December, 2006

Megalitismo alentejano contemporâneo 2

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Arraiolos, Praça Brito e Lima.

Barrocal: the hidden faces of the stones

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and the trees...

Barrocal: fitting the puzzle pieces together

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Field walking in Barrocal is bringing novelties, details for a better understanding of the history of this major megalithic landscape.
Apart from some new roman and medieval sites, as well as some new neolithic artifact scatters,
this week I found a new monument: it is a protomegalithic tomb, some 200 m south from the menhir, close to que outcrops named as Barroca 1.
The monument, seemingly a classic horse shoe shaped chamber, without passage, is partially hidden under some allogenous stones (whitish in the images), but keeps six uprights visible and a possible entrance facing eastwards.

This kind of structures, tough very common on the North-West of Central Alentejo (50% of the total), are only vestigial in the South-East of the region, including Reguengos de Monsaraz. Some elements, however, suggest that, at least in Barrocal, they were quite well represented.
Actually, some of the "antas" recorded by the Leisner, in the Barrocal area, should eventually be classified as protome…

The invisible landscapes

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As paisagens invisíveis:
ou os 2700 anos do castelo de Évora Monte

Manuel Calado


Sabíamos, já há uns anos, que, antes da vila medieval de Evoramonte tinha existido, no local, um castro proto-histórico de que dei notícia, com Leonor Rocha, num artigo publicado, em 1996, na “Cidade de Évora” sobre o “Bronze final no Alentejo Central”.
Neste artigo, fazia-se já referência à possibilidade de o castro ter ocupado uma área superior à da cerca medieval, com base na hipótese de os taludes que se observavam na encosta exterior à muralha poderem conter os restos das muralhas antigas. Na verdade, os materiais arqueológicos que permitiram tal conjectura resumiam-se a um fragmento de taça de fabrico manual, característica do final da Idade do Bronze ou inícios da Idade do Ferro, transição cuja cronologia, na região, pode chegar, em princípio, até aos finais do séc. VIII antes de Cristo. Os tais 2700 anos...
Entretanto, foram realizadas, em 2004, nas imediações da torre quinhentista, algumas sondagens a…

Rock art and archaeoastronomy?

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Pepe Galovart keeps sending images (some from Monique Larrey) and suggestions from Galicia. In this case, the petrogliphs of Auga da Laxe, 5 Km from Vigo.This carvings lay in a flat area, with the Monte Galiñeiro to the East. Note that the shape of this hill recalls the one of Monsaraz and others in Central Alentejo (see post from 11.08.2006). It is possible that Monte Galiñeiro was used as a back-sight, from Auga da Laxe, to observe the Spring Full Moon. The same observation could eventually be made about the petrogliphs of Muros, all facing eastwards (see post from 03.12.2006).

Another interesting remark about the petrogliphs of Muros is the horse-shoe shape of the landscape framing the carved rocks. A similar patern has been observed in the important megalithic sites of Barrocal, Xarez or Almendres (Central Alentejo), as well as in the Quiberon Bay (Morbihan, Brittany) where the most outstanding megalithic sites of the world are placed (the Carnac alignments or the Locmariaquer menh…

Redrawing The Neolithic

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Key symbols and recurrent figures
The stones, the hills, the moon and the motherhood

The (re)draw is a proposal based on the visible lines and on a (probably) similar figure from almendres.

Pão, pão, queijo, queijo

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This text has been built around the idea that the domestication of sheep and goats has been, since the begining, related, in economic terms, with the use of milk, innovation that is usually considered a late event in the Neolithic process, following the famous Andrew Sherratt model (2PR).
However, a recent work by Jean-Denis Vigne, published in a volume under the direction of Jean Guilaine - Populations néolithiques et environements (2005), Editions Errance - gives some new support for that idea.

Barrocal: erection and decadence of a menhir

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The excavation of the socket of the menhir, at Barrocal, allowed us to build an hipothesis to understand the processes involved on the erection and the later fall of the megalith.

Megalithic Winter Solstice

Newgrange big draw at Winter Solstice From December 19 to 23 - if the weather cooperates - 20 lucky peoplea day will crowd into an ancient Irish monument's main chamber.There, they'll bathe in 17 minutes of light put off by the rising sunon the shortest days of the year. This year about 28,000 peopleapplied to take part in the ritual at the Newgrange monument, locatedin the Irish countryside in County Meath, reports the Brú na BóinneVisitor Center. According to Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatoryin Los Angeles, California, the monument incorporates knowledge thatcould only have been gained through precise astronomicalobservations. "The people who built it knew about the winter solstice- knew when it occurred, knew where the sun would rise - and built amonument that took advantage of that event and incorporated itsymbolically into the monument," he said. The 62-foot-long (19-meter-long) passage faces the wintersolstice sunrise. A little window above the …

The hidden faces of the rocks and megaliths of Galicia

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The link with Galicia is working again (many thanks to Pepe Galovart, Xulio Carballo Arceo and the editor of Nigratea, Gonzalo Allegue)

Barrocal rock art

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In the morning light, the rich decoration of the menhir of Barrocal.

Rock art and natural outcrops

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José Luis Galovart sent us images of rock art pannels, in the same area (O Pindo, Carnota) where we can find the anthropomorphic and zoomorphuic outcrops of the previous posts. Neolithic people has been around in the area...

Digging up a monument

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Salgada settlement (Rio de Moinhos, Borba, Central Alentejo).
Around 3000 BC.

Complex ditch and, at least, two enclosing walls: one of them, has been found on last year excavation (2, 50 m large) and a second one (on the first two images) has just been found this week (1, 20 m large).
I