grabado Mámoa da Braña

Mámoa da Braña

grabado Dombate

Dolmen de Dombate

grabado Roza das Modias

Roza das Modias


    The engravings decorating the upright slabs of the Galician dolmens are very numerous. They were made with the help of a pointed object made out of stone that was used to hit the stone and make a furrow. We bring to this section the most significant samples of such decoration.

    The photo that describes the Mámoa da Braña, corresponds to the orthostat number 2 of its megalithic chamber that was destroyed when doing agricultural works. At present it is deposited in the Provincial Museum of Pontevedra. Motifs with vertical waves are visible and so is a circle row.

    The photo corresponding to the Dolmen of Dombate, in Cabana (A Coruña ), represents a very rare motif that can be observed in four of its orthostats, appearing five times in one of them. These engravings were made before the pictorial decoration of the upright stones. The Irish specialist Elizabeth Shee, maybe the most renowned world authority in megalithic art, has baptised this motif as "the thing", in her prodigious work "Megalithic Art of Western Europe" (1981). This type of engraving are peculiar of this geographical area, and has been found in the dolmen Casa dos Mouros with slight variations.

        The photo on the right side shows one of the orthostats of the dolmen known as Roza das Modias in Vilalba (Lugo), with its sinouos lines that have been interpreted as representations of water or as authentic snakes, although they are only hypothesis of difficult confirmation. Similar motifs appear in an orthostat of the dolmen located in Parada de Alperiz (Pontevedra).

In the dolmen of Mota Grade in Verea (Ourense), which is hidden at present, it was found in the second orthostat by the left an interesting engraving with a form that vaguely remembers a bell with two oval shaped zones in its centre that look like a high relief.

    Other Galician dolmens with interesting engravings are: Chan de Castiñeiras, in Marín (Pontevedra), with waved horizontal lines in two of its orthostats and an orthostat of the dolmen of Espiñaredo, in Negreira ( A Coruña), hidden at present, with a decoration in which circular or snaky lines are easy to see and with a motif that has been interpreted as a dagger. Also in many of the Galician megalithic constructions are found cup-shaped carvings.