Megalithic Constructions Discovered in the Azores, Portugal


The oldest cave art known is of prehistoric origin, dating back to approximately 40,000 years ago in both Asia and Europe. The megalithic constructions in Western Europe and the Mediterranean Region took place mainly in the Neolithic and continued until the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. The Azores Islands did not seem to have been occupied before the arrival of the Portuguese navigators in the XVth century. Because of that, it was not expected that megalithic structures would be found, or structures that resembled megalithic tombs and rock art in the Azores Islands, geographically located in the Center of the North Atlantic, at 1500 km west of Lisbon (Portugal) and about 1900 km southeast of Newfoundland (Canada). These findings seem to be, historically, a paradox. In a first moment, an oral presentation was made about these findings by the author at the 16th Annual Mediterranean Studies Association Congress, and after that, a field trip took place with the archeologists present at the stated Congress. The perplexity was the dominant conduct of the guests, and some hypotheses that certain archaeologists mentioned were evolved versions which had not been empirically corroborated. Afterwards, new findings were registered at Grota do Medo site, helping to make clear that larger stones had been used to construct structures or monuments. The rock art surrounding the megalithic constructions in the Azores also has similarities with those found in Europe. If these findings belong to the Bronze Age or Iron Age, it can reopen new scientific questions about ancient mid-Atlantic crossings. The present article tries to establish ties among the megalith constructions found in the Azores with those known in Europe.

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Rodrigues, A. (2015) Megalithic Constructions Discovered in the Azores, Portugal. Archaeological Discovery, 3, 51-61. doi: 10.4236/ad.2015.32006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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