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 Location: Portalegre, Alentejo, Portugal.  Grid Reference: 39.5° N, 7.45° W.

 

      Castelo de Vide: (Megalithic Complex).

The mountain range that composes the outline of Castelo de Vide and Marvao are ever present in the scenery of this region. Clustered around the imposing hills are over 50 megalithic remains (2), including dolmens, menhirs and the remains of passage mounds, making this one of the megalithic hot-spots of Portugal.

The Menhir da Meada (right) is the tallest in Iberia standing at over 7m.

 

(Click here for map of the site)

 

 

 

   Castelo de Vide Complex:

The 'Parque Megalitico dos Coureleiros'.

The following four megaliths are found along a stretch of dirt track  just over one kilometre apart. They were all constructed so as to face east (3).

coureleiros, castelo de vide, portugal

The remains of a small dolmen (Anta I), with only one stone remaining upright.

 

anta coureleiros, castelo de vide, portugal.

Although the capstone of 'Anta II' has collapsed, it is still possible to determine that the large (3m+) chambered area had a passage leading to it, suggesting that this was originally an 'Allée Couverte' or a small passage-mound, possibly once covered with a mound of soil or stones.

quarry marks, Coureleiros, Castelo de vide, Portugal.

An excellent example of 'Quarry-marks' lies in the same field, showing the Neolithic technique for preparing stones to be split for use. Portugal has several good examples of this, and there are examples from all round the ancient world that show common construction technique.

(Other examples of 'Quarry marks')

(Prehistoric Construction Techniques)

 

anta coureleiros, castelo de vide, portugal

In the same field, about 10m away are the remains of Coureleiros III, a capstone-less, dwarf-dolmen even without the comparison of the nearby Coureleiros II.

The last Anta/Dolmen along the track.. has also fallen in on itself..

coureleiros, castelo de vide, portugal.

Coureleiros IV. With evidence of a corridor and possible mound.

 

The uprights are now supported with stones.

 

Menhir da Meada.

menhir de meada, castelo de vide, portugal

The Menhir da Meada stands with spectacular views all round, and the Castelo de Vide directly in front.

The menhir stands over 7m above ground, and is probably the tallest monolith in Iberia. It was first rediscovered broken in two and was re-erected in 1993. Apparently its height is due to the fact that it belongs to a line of menhir's which were carefully arranged so that each one was visible from the next (the Menhir of Meada stands in a lower elevation than the others) (1).

(More about the Menhir da Meada)

 

Other Sites in the region of Castelo De Vide.

anta de melrica, castelo de vide, portugal

This 'Anta' / Dolmen sits in the middle of a large crop- field, making it difficult to reach.

 

Pombal Anta, Castelo de Vide, Portugal.

This greatly 'restored' dolmen is currently used as a kennel. (Beware of the puppy - Its cute..)

 

This small Anta/Dolmen is surrounded by small stones, suggesting that it was once covered over.

 

(List of Prehistoric Portuguese sites)

(Portugal Homepage)

 

 

 

References:

1). http://www.druidry.org/obod/touchstone/portugal.html
2). http://www.travel-in-portugal.com/Portalegre/
3). B. Davis, B. Cole, Walking in Portugal. 2000. Pili Pala Press.

 

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