23/10/2017

A trip through the Prehistory in Portugal

One of the main attractions of the neighboring country often occupies a discreet background for aspects such as its gastronomy, or its natural and architectural wealth. Among the countless treasures of the Portuguese country stands out its prehistoric heritage, which is priceless. Portugal has some of the oldest Neolithic structures in all of Europe, dating back more than 4000 years BC, as well as megalithic constructions such as stone circles or dolmens and spiral writing.
In Five Sensations , we propose a route in which you can discover the main deposits, ranging from to the North Region to the Alentejo.

Côa Valley

The town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa is the first must-see for any lover of archeology. In it are the National Museum of the Côa Valley and the Archaeological Park Côa Valley. This space has the distinction of being the largest set of outdoor rock art that exists until now, something that earned it the status of a World Heritage in 1998. Since the discovery of the first recorded rock in place in 1991, have been more than a thousand Paleolithic testimonies that have come to light in these almost three decades. In the valley, the stones, with representations of species such as horses, deer or uros, follow each other for 17 kilometers, extension in which there are also samples from other eras such as the Neolithic or the Iron Age.
The archaeological route can be merged with a gastronomic stop, gastronomic , and is that Vila Nova de Foz is located in the wine region of Douro, so visitors can taste wines like Oporto, characterized by their sweetness. In addition, nature lovers will also be able to witness the beautiful landscape of almond blossoms between February and March.

Archaeological Park Côa Valley

Maçao, rock capital

A few kilometers from the Côa valley is the city of Maçao, the capital of the prehistoric art of the Tagus River. In it is the Museum of Prehistoric and Sacred Art in the Vale do Tejo, an exhibition space dedicated to the cave testimonies of the Archaeological Park of Ocreza. In this area, which covers 14 kilometers, are preserved stone engravings very close to the river that date from the Upper Paleolithic and the Bronze Age. In the surroundings of the river Ocreza, you can also visit enclaves with vestiges castreños and megalithic.

Archaeological Park of Ocreza

Interpretation in Escoural

Leaving behind the city of Maçao, we find the municipality of Montemor-o-Novo, in the district of Evora. Among its ten parishes is Santiago de Escoural, where the Interpretation Center of Escoural is located, very close to the Cave of Escoural.
The one of Escoural of the unique cave decorated with rock art of Portugal. In its walls it is possible to see numerous engravings and paintings representing different animals like horses or goats, in addition to other elements.
Near Santiago de Escoural is the city of Evora, whose historic center is recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. In its surroundings are some of the largest megalithic monuments of the Iberian Peninsula, such as the Anta Grande do Zambujeiro. The figures speak for themselves when assessing the historical relevance of Evora: more than a dozen megalithic enclosures; about one hundred menhirs; and about eight hundred tapirs and four hundred and fifty megalithic settlements. The privileged location of Evora, where the river basins of the Tajo, Sado and Guadiana rivers converge, influenced the proliferation of settlements in Prehistory.

Cave of Escoural