Anta da Murteira de Cima

Anta da Murteira de Cima



Late Neolithic collective tomb (4th millennium BC), built of granite blocks, originally covered with a mound of soil and stones (the barrow).


The monument is of average size in regional terms, and the stone structure is relatively well preserved. As usual, it has a funeral chamber of seven uprights and a central corridor pointing east; the chamber roof is missing as are some covering slabs of the corridor.


Part of the barrow still remains on the north side, where traces can be seen of a funerary structure of uncertain date, certainly later than the dolmen.


Published in 1948-49 by German archaeologist Georg Leisner.

Some time later, though it is not known when, the chamber was excavated by someone and its contents removed.


The soil produced by this pillage, deposited outside the chamber, was sieved and several Neolithic votive objects were recovered, including spearheads, blades, schist necklace beads, ceramics and, above all, many fragments of schist slabs decorated with geometric motifs and a fragment of a staff.


The schist slabs are among the most interesting and symbolic artistic products of Alentejan pre-history. They are anthropomorphic representations (based on a stylised human figure) that are to be found in Neolithic and Copper Age funerary surroundings over a very large area that also includes the Lisbon Peninsula and the districts of the Beiras, Andalucía and the Algarve.