Sunday, June 16, 2013

0192 – Enclosures and cromlechs

Cromlech of Almendres, near Évora

There are several parallels that can be established between ditched enclosures and cromlechs in South Portugal Late Neolithic. Not just some cromlechs show a topographical implantation and relations with the landscape similar to several ditched enclosures, like being in a slope orientated to East and with relation to sun events (like Vale Maria do Meio or Almendres), but others seem to be in close spatial relation with ditched enclosures. That can be seen at Torrão and Perdigões.

Neolithic Perdigões: the strong black lines mark the known (at the moment) Neolithic structures.

In Torrão the cromlech is just outside the Late Neolithic ditch and in Perdigões is a couple of hundred meters to the East of the early ditches also dated from Late Neolithic. In both sites there aren´t yet empirical evidences that directly connect the enclosures to the cromlechs, but being totally contemporary or not, the general idea that we get from the location and orientation of several Neolithic cromlechs and ditched enclosures, and from the proximity that some of them present, is that there is an ideological connection between them and that they, being different, respond to same shared general principles.

There seems to be a strong link between some ditched enclosures and some megalithic structures in Alentejo, as complementary means of expressing and organizing Neolithic world views and landscapes.

We have several Neolithic cromlechs in the region. Besides Torrão and Perdigões, I wonder how many have an unrevealed ditched enclosure nearby.


  1. I was not aware that there were Neolithic cromlechs (stone rings) in Iberia at all. I was under the false impression that they were limited to the Iron Ages' Pyrenees.

    They would seem to be particularly interesting megaliths, IMO, because they offer a possible link between similar kind of structures in Africa and NW Europe.

    Any interesting online source, I could learn more on them? Thanks in advance.

    1. There a lot of information online about some of these cromlechs. If you surch by "cromeleque dos Almendres" or "Cromeleque de Vale Maria do Meio" or "Recinto megalítico das Fontainhas" you will find information and links.