Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 29 April 2013

Rainbows and Neolithic Monuments

Castelo de Vide and Marvao, Portugal

The Neolithic Era, or Period, or revolution, from νέος (néos, "new") and λίθος (líthos, "stone"), or New Stone age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,200 BC, and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 BC. The Neolithic is a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. Keep that definition in mind for the end of this blog.

Bushes with yellow flowers are common at certain elevation.

We pass a giant finger on the way to Castelo de Vide and Marvao. These are both ancient hilltop fortresses near the city of Portalegre and the Spanish border.

The old Jewish Barrio, like the others, is located near the castle. They make this one easy to find by placing symbols on the sidewalk.

Mrs. Phred is entering the Synagogue/Museum. It is the oldest one in Portugal. No pictures are allowed. We don't know if there is still a Jewish presence in the old Jewish Quarter.  No mezzuzahs are on any doorway.  They were forced to convert or fled about the time Columbus was taking credit for discovering the West Indies.

'The Castle and walled city is similar to all the others.

In the afternoon we decide to go in search of the Menhirda Meada. This is a Neolithic stone carving that was unearthed in 1965.

We get the GPS coordinates for the Menir. It's apparently 10 miles north of the castle and a half mile though a field on foot.

We are stymied by a farmer's fence, but find a small road past where the GPS says to go off road.

The road turns into a dirt track which we follow about two miles before it becomes impassable.

The Menhir da Meada: (Standing Stone) is located in the Alentejo, 10 km north of Castelo de Vide, in the Portalegre district. This menhir, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, stands just over  31 feet  high with a  4 foot girth and illustrates the importance of the area in prehistoric times. It was re-erected in 1995 by the Portuguese heritage. Apparently its height is due to the fact that it belongs to a line of menhir's which were carefully arranged so that each one was visible from the next (The Menhir of Meada stands in a lower elevation than the others)

Eventually we find the Menir near where the paved road becomes dirt.

The Pousada in Marvao is way up inside the walled city. There are no signs directing one to the location. Driving is a challenge. We park and walk to find directions.

The day is cold, rainy and full odd rainbows.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I commented here...wonder where it the rainbows and large finger....I am bowled over at how empty these places are (or you are getting up at the crack of dawn to see it) lucky you are to be so alone in these wonderful places....hmmm may just have to put this country on our list...SIL