Tholos do Cerro do Malhanito

Tholos - Chalcolithic (Copper Age), Bronze Age e Iron Age (18537)
The Malhanito tholos is located at the highest point of the Cerro do Malhanito, at the end of a narrow isthmus outlined by the Ribeira da Foupana. Architecturally, this monument is composed of a small atrium, located at the edges of the mamoa, a short corridor with a sub-rectangular shape, about 1.4 m long and 0.80m wide, oriented south-east, and a sub-circular chamber defined by 17 common, narrow orthostats. The floor is partly covered with slabs and the roof may have been built with a false dome system. There are few discovered artefacts linked to the Chalcolithic settlement (amphibolite chisel, fragments of an adze, anthropomorphic idol crafted in polished pebble), found mainly in the atrium and corridor, which may be connected with the reduced burial numbers and/or subsequent reuse of the monument. The construction and first stage of occupation of this monument are framed in the Chalcolithic, being reused in later times, namely the burial of an individual at the end of the Bronze Age / beginning of the Iron Age. Due to its location and construction chronology, this monument may be related to the Chalcolithic settlement Cerro do Castelo das Mestras (CNS 4039), deployed in a heap about 13km away.


Information available on the site in the Alcoutim Archaeological Museum.

Visit conditions

Free entrance




    How to get there? Best practices

    Best practices

    Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

    To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

    Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

    More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

    Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

    As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

    • Respect all signs; 
    • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
    • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
    • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
    • Do not collect materials or sediments;
    • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
    • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
    • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
    • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
    • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
    • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
    • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
    • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

    Further information:

    AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

    Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

    DGPC contacts

    Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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