Necrópole Megalítica de Chão Redondo

ALSO IDENTIFIED AS: Dólmen 2 (or Anta 2) de Chão Redondo, or Monumentos Megalíticos do Chão de Redondo

From a distance, it doesn’t seem very extraordinary. There’s a remnant of the large mound of stone and earth which originally covered the prehistoric tomb. The tomb itself looks fairly typical of an average-sized neo-chalcolithic chamber tomb. There are a number of upright stones serving as walls to the corridor and chamber, with two capstones from the chamber remining in place. It’s when you get close that you see them: the intricate engravings on the headstone, covering its entire surface. The other uprights have similar engravings. Imagine what they would have been like originally: covering the entire surfaces inside the dark chamber, lit by flickering firelight causing the zigzags and curves to shimmer and dance. What a magical and spiritual place it would have been thousands of years ago.

The site, formally a necrópole or cemetary, has two chambered tombs dating back from the neo-chalcolithic period (about 4,000 years ago). (This site uses the Portuguese term dólmen, rather than the more common one, anta.) The first dólmen is largely destroyed but the second one is well preserved and notable for the engravings on the inside of the tomb.

The main dólmen (#2) has an elongated trapezoidal chamber, with a long chamber (about 2.1m). Of the original nine upright pillars in the chamber (up to 2.2m tall), three remain in place. The headstone has detailed engravings of V-shapes. The other stones also show zigzags, circles and wavy lines. These are common engraving features from the period, but it is not common to find them on the inside of a dólmen. The intricacies of these carvings indicate that the tomb would have been very impressive when intact.

The original mamoa (mound or tumulus) is well preserved and is about 15m in diameter.

When you arrive at the site, there’s an sign board (fairly weathered) with information in Portuguese and English about the site and environment from the Rota de Água e Pedra (“Route of Water and Stone”). The sign stands in front of Dólmen de Chão Redondo 1, which is heavily overgrown (at the time of my visit) and mostly destroyed. There’s no indication of the way towards the second dólmen: its about 20m to the right of the signboard.


The site is in the district of Aveiro, in the municipality of Sever de Vouga. The two dolmens are just south of the main motorway (A25) between Aveiro and Viseu, just East of the town of Talhadas. From Talhadas, head towards Oliveira de Frades (N333). The necrópole (or dolmens) are on the south of the road, along Rua do Anta.


Access is not bad, however when I visited the narrow pathway was heavily overgrown. Besides grasses and grape vines, there were thorn brambles that had to be navigated. The path was quite flat, and once I reached the necrópole, it was easy to walk around. If you turn at the sign for Rua do Anta, it’s a narrow rural track, and it was heavily overgrown with grasses when I visited. It’s easier to spot the sign (indicating the Necrópole Megalítica) at the other end, and the site is closer (200m) to that end.


There are signs all around the area directing you to Dólmen 2 de Chão Redondo, as part of MEG (Rota de Megalitismo). In Talhadas there are older signs pointing out “Necrópole Megalítica de Chão Redondo.”


  • Entries (in English) from the Megalithic Portal for Dólmen 2 and Dólmen 1
  • Article (in Portuguese) from Wikipedia
  • Video (with Portuguese captions) from Town Museum of Sever de Vouga
  • Description (in English) from the Grande Rota de Ria de Aveiro
  • Description (in English) from the Water and Stone Route (RAP – Rota de Agua e Pedra)
  • Description (in Portuguese) from the Digital Encyclopedia of Sever de Vouga
  • Description (in English) from NatureStorytelling
  • Description (in Portuguese) from the website for MEG – Megalithic Route of the sub-region of Viseu Dão Lafões
  • Description (in Portuguese) from the Archaeologists’ Portal of the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage – listed separately as Dólmen 2 and Dólmen 1
  • Designation (in Portuguese) as a property of public interest by the Director-General of Cultural Heritage


There are many sites in the region (see the MEG website). Most notable, perhaps, is the Anta pintada de Antelas, about 10km away towards Oliveira de Frades, another site that combines architecture and artwork although that tomb has paintings on the inside rather than engravings.

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