Cromeleque dos Almendres

( Almendres Cromlech )

The Cromlech of the Almendres (Portuguese: Cromeleque dos Almendres/Cromeleque na Herdade dos Almendres) is a megalithic complex (commonly known as the Almendres Cromlech), located 4.5 road km WSW of the village of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, in the civil parish of Nossa Senhora da Tourega e Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, municipality of Évora, in the Portuguese Alentejo. The largest existing group of structured menhirs in the Iberian Peninsula (and one of the largest in Europe), this archaeological site consists of several megalithic structures: cromlechs and menhir stones, that belong to the so-called "megalithic universe of Évora", with clear parallels to other cromlechs in Évora District, such as Portela Mogos and the Vale Maria do Meio Cromlech.

 Scheme showing the evolution of the Almendres Cromlech (Évora, Portugal) from the early Neolithic until today[1]

The construction of these structures dates back to the 6th millennium BC. They were rediscovered in 1966 by Henrique Leonor Pina, who was carrying out field work relating to the country's geological charts.[2][3][4][5]

The excavation of the site unearthed a series of both megalithic and neolithic construction phases; Almendres I 6000 BC (Early Neolithic), Almendres II 5000 BC (Middle Neolithic), and Almendres III 4000 BC (Late Neolithic). The relative chronology of the cromlech and menhirs is extremely complex and covers a period from the Neolithic to Chalcolithic. It is believed that the monument either had a religious/ceremonial purpose or functioned as a primitive astronomical observatory.[2][5]

^ Mário Varela Gomes. Cromeleque dos Almendres: Um dos Primeiros Grandes Monumentos Públicos da Humanidade. Biblioteca Digital do Alentejo ^ a b Cite error: The named reference IGESPAR was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Marciano, C., Sobre o Possível Significado Astronómico do Cromeleque dos Almendres (in Portuguese), archived from the original on 22 February 2006, retrieved 30 October 2008 ^ Pina, H.L. (1971), "Novos Monumentos Megalíticos do Distrito de Évora", Actas do II Congresso Nacional de Arqueologia, Coimbra, Portugal, p. 151{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ a b Branco, Manuel (1993). SIPA (ed.). "Cromeleque e menir, na Herdade dos Almendres" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
Photographies by:
Jose Manuel - CC BY-SA 4.0
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