Standing Stone of Almendres - Ebora Megalithica

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Standing Stone of Almendres

The Sites

As with most of the European megalithic regions, in this area there are a large number of isolated menhirs, some of which appear to be spatially oriented with the sites and generally contemporaneous to them.

The Monte dos Almendres menhir is an a long oval-shaped example, which is a characteristic of the menhirs in the Évora area and has a crosier engraved in shallow relief on the upper part of the side which now faces west.

The shepherd’s crosier is the most frequent subject on menhirs in the Alentejo region (and is also often apparent on menhirs in Brittany); it is a subject that clearly evokes the Neolithic economy in which herding had a central role; it also reflects the foundations of the Neolithic ideology, in which the domination of nature, the domestication of animals and plants, was on of the dominating themes.

Some of the menhirs were decorated with motifs that generally reinforce the respective anthropomorphic character: they are, in fact facing the first statues, three-dimensional representations on a large-scale, of the human body.

The location of the monument is clearly related to the Almendres site, as it corresponds to an elemental astronomic direction: the menhir as seen from the site indicates the positions in which the sun rises, on the longest day of the year, the day of the Summer Solstice.

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