Dólmen of Portela da Anta

On the Freita´s plateau, Portela da Anta is probably the most accessible megalithic monument in the territory. It surprises by it´s volumetry and by the uniformity which it develops from a small prehistoric grave. Dated at the end of the fourth millennium BC, it is inserted curiously into the beautiful surrounding landscape, an interesting combination between life, renewed by nature at each cycle, and death, which may not mean the end of everything.


This monument, already mentioned in medieval documents of the thirteenth century, owes it´s name to the great «mamoa» that we find here: a megalithic grave, whose cultural features define a set of prehistoric societies that built monuments with large stones, commonly referred to as Antas or Dolmens (although, there are other non-funerary monuments, such as the menhirs, that are included in this type of architecture - Megalithism). This architectural expression, coming from the Neolithic period, drags itself till the Bronze Age, evolving to non-megalithic monuments, whose internal funerary structure of the mamoa loses volumetry and diversifies the type of grave.

The main monument is designated by «Mamoa of Portela da Anta», having about 35 meters in diameter, surrounding the remains of a corridor dolmen, whose archaeological work revealed a curious lytic circle, presumably for ritual functions, sweetened to the mamoa by the West side. To the East, an atrium was identified oppening in the front of the corridor of the chamber, delimited by a wall, whose interpretation also affects the ceremonial character.

The archaeological remains, resulting from the excavation, consists essentially in a few dozen ceramic fragments, chipped stone tools (arrowheads and blades) and a small copper punch, suggesting the Bronze Age as the final phase of the use of this monument.

In this way, Portela da Anta has been used for over a millennium (between the end of the fourth and second millennium BC), being the great collective grave of the pastoral communities that frequented the Freita´s Mountain, five thousand years ago.

 In Roman times, the grave was reused, taking advantage of the "sacred" place since prehistory, to receive a roman incineration. The exhumed estate, which would accompany this deposition, was characterized by a small fragment of a container of greenish glass and about half a hundred of very small paste beads in graphite.

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Serra da Freita, 4540, Albergaria da Serra
Aveiro, Arouca, Arouca
  • Latitude 40.860599
  • Longitude -8.26168