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Full Version: Évora, Portugal's Cromlech of the Almendres
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Well first things, first, I suppose. So instead of being very plain and boring about showing everybody some of my pictures from Portugal, I'll set them up thematically.

Today I'll begin with one of the farthest periods I could possibly go, according to Wikipedia a period from the Neolithic to Chalcolithic.

Here's a bit of a blurb from Wikipedia to situate you all. (The rest of the article found here):

Quote:The Cromlech of the Almendres megalithic complex (or Almendres Cromlech), located near Guadalupe, in the civil parish of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, municipality of Évora, is 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, the first belonging to the so-called "megalithic universe of Évora", with clear parallels to other cromlechs, such as in Portela Mogos in the Montemor-o-Novo.[1]

The construction of these structures date back to the 6th millennium BC, though they were only rediscovered in 1966 by Henrique Leonor Pina, who was proceeding with field work relating to the country's geological charts.[1][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), 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, and it is believed that the monument had a religious/ceremonial purpose, or functioned as a primitive astronomical observatory.[1][5]

We had driven from Sintra directly to Evora and had decided to check these out before checking into our hotel just on the outskirts of Evora. The day was gorgeous: beautiful sunshine, barely any wind. The drive from the highway to this site seemed longer than what the guidebook suggested of some 4.3 km or so. But then again when looking for some place and not knowing where you are, distances usually do feel longer. So we hit a dirt road (just outside of the village of Guadelupe) which was flat yet a tad curvy here and there and enjoyed the countryside--groves of cork oak trees, sweet meadows of wild flowers which included lavender in full bloom, and the odd cattle lazily enjoying the late afternoon sun. And then we came upon this:

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(By the way, this small group of people to the left were Quebeckers, of all things, casually chatting about the city of Laval, QC, and the fraudulent switching of Quebec-grown tomatoes for Ontario-grown tomatoes in supermarkets. Go figure! Big Grin)

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You'll notice from the close-ups above that through sheer erosion, some of the designs are barely visible. It was also late afternoon and just by virtue of the angle of the sun being behind the stones, it was difficult to make out the engravings. Regardless, if one persevered, and along with the help of the placards, one could make out the engravings.

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(The above were taken by my Better Half with his Crackberry of all things. Not bad methinks.)

More photos to come on this from me in the following posts in this thread.
Whilst my Better Half is more methodical about taking pictures, I tend to not be. Thank goodness we complement one another in that regard otherwise I'd have missed some of the engravings completely.

Anyway, more pics:

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Excellent work, Aem and Mr. Aem! Is this the oldest thing you´ve ever visited, near enough? Must be near the top of anyone´s list for that sort of thing, given the age of it!

What was your own subjective take on the site? Did you get anything of a ´religious sense of awe´ buzz out of it? How does it sit in the landscape? Are the rocks anthropomorphic in feel or not? What is the general personality of the place? What functions seem appropriate for it, given that you´ve actually stood in it?

That mention of the dolmen converted into a chapel was curious. Is Sao Brissos the one we call ´Brice´?
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