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 Location: 8km south of Nisa, N18, Alentejo.  Grid Reference: 39.45 N  7.67 W.

 

      Anta de San Gens: (Dolmen).

The San Gens dolmen is located in an apparently isolated position, along a track about 2km from the nearest town. The track to the dolmen is lined with piles of quarried marble, dating back at least as far as the Romans.

The dolmen is situated near the top of a small hill, offering a good view to the east but nothing more than the crest of the hill to the west.

(Click here for map of the site)

 

 

   Anta de San Gens:

The Dolmen is around 2-3m high and is topped by a capstone which now only rests on two of the seven uprights (of which only five remain). Two of the uprights have broken over time and this has left an opening which creates the impression that the dolmen has a west-facing orientation, while the small opening on the eastern side is actually the original opening. This idea is strengthened by the fact that a stone lies on the floor inside the dolmen which is probably a part of one of the broken stones.

 

 

There is a small circle of stones (hearth?), just in-front of the gap on the eastern face (see right), although this may not be contemporary.

 

 

 

 

One of the stones has what appears to be the product of natural erosion on its inside face, which has been subjected to a fire at some time. It is interesting to note that this same type of natural feature can be seen both in the San Gens Necropole and in the stones at Tapado. The preferential selection of stones with natural features was commonplace to the megalithic builders, perhaps adding a magical quality to the atmosphere of the structure.

 

Orientation:

Assuming the entrance to be the gap on the eastern side, San Gens is orientated approximately 20 south of true east, a feature common to most Portuguese dolmens, and suggestive of an orientation to the winter solstice sunrise (or spring full-moon).

 

Gallery of Images:

 

And in honour of the dolmen....

San-Gens Dolmen, Portugal. (ancient-wisdom.com)

A new dolmen has been built in the town incidentally representing the most recently erected dolmen in Portugal (Europe?).

 

(List of Prehistoric Portuguese sites)

(Portugal Homepage)

 

 

References:

 

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