Estação Arqueológica de Monte Molião

Settlement - Iron Age, Roman Period e Medieval Islamic Period (11870)
The Monte Molião archaeological site is located on a hilltop, on the left bank of the Bensafrim brook. During the 1st millennium BC, the estuary of the ribeira de Bensafrim would be wider and navigable, making the hill of Monte Molião surrounded by water, only connected to land in the northern slope. Therefore, this position allowed for a good visual domain over a wide and diverse territory (baía de Lagos and inner areas), and was a privileged place for marine, river and terrestrial resource exploitation. Archaeological works identified traces of a settlement with several stages of occupation. During the Second Iron Age (late 4th century BC) Monte Molião would be a settlement of considerable dimensions, with urban and architectural planning that follows Mediterranean tradition. The Roman occupation of Monte Molião is framed between the end of the 2nd century BC and the end of the 2nd century AD (Republican Roman period and Imperial Roman period). From this urban nucleus, which may be Lacobriga, housing and functional structures organized in streets were identified(ceramic kilns, metallurgical production areas, cetarias for the production of fish products), as well as a large and diverse set of materials, some of which showing evidence of regional and Mediterranean trading activities. A Roman necropolis was located on the outskirts of the urban nucleus to the north east side of Monte Molião, which was identified and almost completely destroyed in the late 19th century. In this sepulchral space, records of burial and cremation rituals, as well as votive artefacts that are integrated in the 1st and 2nd century AD (contemporary of the occupation of Monte Molião) and in the 3rd century AD, may indicate that this necropolis continued to be used by the people that settled near the hill.


The archaeological site is protected by a fence, having visiting conditions.

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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