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 Location: Vila Cha, Alijo, Portugal.  Grid Reference: 41� 20� N, 7� 28� W.


      Anta de Fonte Coberta: (Passage Mound).

Commonly considered as one of the most important 'Anta's' in Northern Portugal.

This anta stands isolated on a plateau at around 3m high, has the 'standard' seven uprights and flattened capstone on the underside, but also contains traces of Red Ochre and Cup-marks.

Traces of a mound suggest that this monument was once, at least, partially covered.

(Click here for map of the site)



   Anta de Fonte Coberta:

The name 'Ante de Fonte Coberta' translates as the 'Dolmen of the covered spring'. The folklore of the Pyrenees, France, Spain and Portugal regarding sacred wells is very similar to that of Ireland, Scotland and England. Borlase (1) writes:

"It is interesting to notice that the pre-Christian custom called dessil, or circuit around a venerated spot; which is practised in Ireland in the case of one dolmen at least, as well as at wells and Churches innumerable, is found also in Portugal... It is not in Ireland alone that dolmens are associated with the notion of wells and water springs. The Portuguese names, Anta do Fontao, Fonte Coberta, Anta do Fonte-de Mouratao, and the French names, Fonte de Bourre, and Fonte nay le Marmion, show this to be the case".


Anta de Fonte Coberta

The Eastern upright has been broken in half, a feature common to many Portuguese Anta's.


Anta de Fonte Coberta

The tide-line around the bottom shows the erosion of the mound over the last few years only ... before which (i.e. 2006), the ground surrounding the Anta was covered in grass.


Gallery of Images:


(Passage Mounds)


(List of Prehistoric Portuguese sites)

(Portugal Homepage)





1). Norman Lockyer, Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered, 1906.


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