Monte da Tumba

Fortified Settlement - Chalcolithic (Copper Age) (1823)
The Monte da Tumba archaeological site is located atop a spurred hill, with steep slopes and a flattened top, which rises to roughly 55m altitude, at the confluence of two streams of water, tributaries to the Xarrama River, near the Vale do Gaio flush, 1.2km away from the vila do Torrão and 55km away from the coast. This location provides it with a broad visual domain over a diverse territory. The archaeological remains are scattered in an area around 2500m2. The settlement of Monte da Tumba was occupied between the end of the 4th millennium BC and the best part of the 3rd millennium BC (3500 - 2300 BC), which resulted in three major stages of occupation, marked by the presence of large perimeter fortification structures. The first stage of Monte da Tumba occupation is marked by the construction of a wide wall, formed by limestone blocks and probably covered in adobe, ranging from 1.2 to 1.5m thick and would rise in height, associated to several circular shaped hollow towers with roughly 7m of external diameter. In what concerns to artefacts, this stage is distinguished by the presence of arrowheads (with concave or straight base) and ceramic containers with diverse morphological characteristics, some of which are integrated into the Late Neolithic traditions. Ceramic decorations are very scarce. The second stage of occupation correlates to the construction of a new enclosing structure, with several walled sections that display an oval blueprint, to which several sub-circular shaped hollow towers are associated, ranging between 3.5 - 4.5m in diameter. The rock and ceramic materials display similarities with the previous stage, with less Neolithic elements and more copper pieces. After the abandonment of these structures, in particular the fortification, the third stage of occupation is established, which is depicted by the construction of a sub-circular tower in the centre of the elevation, roughly 12m in diameter. The artefacts associated with the occupation of the São Pedro hill present characteristics typical of the occupations occurring at the end of the 3rd millennium BC.


Guided visits require booking at the Museu Etnográfico do Torrão or at the Gabinete de Arqueologia da Câmara Municipal de Alcácer do Sal. The archaeological objects associated to this site are on display at the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnografia do Distrito de Setúbal.

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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