Alcalar 7

Tholos - Chalcolithic (Copper Age) (11303)
The megalithic monument Alcalar 7 is a tholos, integrated in the great megalithic necropolis located in the proximity of the prehistoric settlement of Alcalar (CNS 2781). This monument lies to the east of the road that leads to Senhora do Verde, composing the eastern nucleus of the necropolis, together with the monument Alcalar 9 (CNS 7277). These two monuments are preserved in a museum. The tholos Alcalar 7 consists of an rectangular box-shaped inner tomb atrium, a long and narrow corridor (about 8.10 m in length), made of schist slabs, segmented in four sections by stepped doors, with five monolithic covers and a conical stump shaped chamber, paved with schist slabs, walls built in schist masonry and three niches, located in the south, north and west walls. This structure has a cover built with the false dome system. Outside, a mamoa with about 27m in diameter was identified, made of limestone blocks and schist slabs and contained by a schist wall, which forms a straight façade facing east, in the centre of which the access to the inside the monument is found. About 5 m away in front of this façade, a schist and limestone pavement was identified, integrating a menhir aligned with the corridor of the monument, with evidence of ritual use (fireplaces, lithic artefacts). In the interior and exterior of the monument were identified , quern stones, percussors, schist slabs with marks of usage, flaked pebbles, plaques, ornaments (bracelet, pendant, necklace beads), fragments of ceramic vessels of different morphologies (dishes, simple bowls, vases, pots, three fragments with bell-beaker decoration) and fauna vestiges. After completing its funerary role, the Alcalar 7 monument and the outer pavement were enveloped by a stone structure formed by schist slabs (4m wide), which sealed it, maintaining its prominence in the landscape. This monument shows traces of use in Roman and Islamic medieval times. This tholos was built in a place with traces of occupation dating to the 5th millennium BC (shell-middens, fireplaces), having reused previous architectural elements. The construction and use of this monument is chronologically framed in the Calcolithic (2900 - 2000 BC), in a period of intense occupation of the Alcalar necropolis. In the outer enclosure, traces of use until the second half of the 2nd-millennium BC (Bronze Age) were identified.

Overview

The megalithic monument is musealized and has an Interpretive Center on site. Portimão Museum has more information and some Alcalar artifacts. Site integrated in the Mexilhoeira Grande Tour (Roteiro Mexilhoeira Grande), Mediterranean Diet Route (Rota da Dieta Mediterrânica) and Archaeological Itineraries of Alentejo and Algarve. Individual or Tour tickets (Monuments of the Algarve Tour/ Monuments of the Western Algarve Tour.

Visit conditions

Entrance with admission ticket

Timetables

From 1st September to 31st July Open from Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 - 13.00 14:00 - 16:30 From 01 to 31 August Open from 10.00 to 18.00. Sunday and Holidays from 10.00 to 14.00.

Documents

    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: informacaoarqueologica@dgpc.pt

     


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