Photographer's Note

After the one made by nature of the other day, this time I present you a man made megalithic monument. It's a dolmen (from the ancient Breton word for stone table), more known in Portugal as anta. The place is about 2 Km away from that other post.

The image was made from 3 different shots taken with a tripod and using different exposure; one was used for the sky, another one for much of the rest, and another one for the interior and darker shadows. I am not sure if I am satisfied with the merging - those dark borders of the stone aren't very realistic, but at the same time, they seem to enhance some dramatic feeling. I have posted a WS of another photo with the same pov but with other PP that didn't originated that effect.

Originally dolmens were covered with a horizontal stone, but in many cases, like this one, that stone no longer exists. I don't know if anyone has an idea of when it was built, but most probably it is at least 5000 year old. Maybe some recent studies have brought more light over the subject (I doubt it), but when I was a teenager much interested in these matters, no one knew much about the societies that built these monuments. They were supposed to be tombs, but there were some authors that claimed that the fact that they were used as tombs doesn't necessarily prove that they were built with that aim and they could have been used as tombs by later peoples. It amazes me much how peoples that are commonly regarded as rather primitive by the common History books and TV series were able to organise themselves to build such monuments, as the 'simple' task of moving those heavy stones around looks rather complicated to be made only by hand, not to mention cutting blocks of a rock so hard as granite. Considering that, these monuments are much more surprising and their origin is much more intriguing than the more impressive monuments of the ancient Egypt and Middle East, as we know that those were built by complex and somehow technically advanced societies.

There are much dolmens in Portugal in general and particularly in North Alentejo. This region North and Northwest of Castelo de Vide has douzens of them and it has also the tallest menhir (those standing rock pillars that were made by our beloved friend Obelix :-) of Iberia. Less than 200 meters away from this one shown here there are four more dolmens. I have plans to post some more photos of dolmens and that menhir. Our TE coleague adores has a rather interesting theme featuring dolmens and cromlechs.

You can browse all my posts of megalithic monuments in this theme.

Weblinks to info on dolmens: answers.com, Wikipedia.

Location (latitude, longitude): 39.44403,-7.47009

Photo Information
Viewed: 4170
Points: 44
Discussions
Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH