The theories behind the mysterious Almendres Cromlech
Dubbed ‘Portugal’s Stonehenge’, the Almendres Cromlech is estimated to be at least 2,000 years older than Britain’s ancient attraction. The site consists of more than 90 stones arranged in two concentric circles, built in stages between 6000 and 4000 BCE.
No one is certain of its original purpose, but many believe the megalithic monument was used to observe the night sky. That’s because the stones’ final positions align with the spring and autumn equinox – when the days and nights are equal lengths. From the Almendres
Cromlech, the Sun and Moon can be seen rising from the same point on the horizon, which suggests the site was used by primitive astronomers.
Another theory is that the stones served religious purposes. Some of them bear carvings – serpents, crescent moons and even faces – leading some to believe they could be sculptures of ancient gods or deities. Whatever the reason or ritual, this is one of Europe’s oldest megalithic complexes and an ancient spectacle.
The stones align with the Sun during the equinoxes The Almendres Cromlech site wasn’t rediscovered until 1966
Harry Beck was honoured with an English Heritage plaque in 2013