Pintura de Dombate

Dolmen de Dombate

Pintura de Pedra Cuberta

Pedra Cuberta

Pintura de forno dos Mouros

Forno dos Mouros

Pintura de Couto dos Mouros

Couto dos Mouros


    In the last years the interest about the study of megalithic art has increased in Galicia, partly, thanks to the discoveries of pictorial remains in Dombate and Forno dos Mouros. The first person that showed interest in megalithic pictorial art was Venancio Moreno, in l.874, who gave notice of a dolmen, long since disappeared , in Codesás, in the municipality of Melón (Ourense). Manuel Murguía reproduced the drawings of the paintings in the second edition of his History of Galicia. Also the archaeologist Federico Maciñeira documented the existence of paintings in Penadaguia, in the Capelada hills (A Coruña) , in the first years of the XX century.

    But it was in l.934 when Galicia was born for the archaeological literature. Then, the famous German archaeologist Georg Leisner presented to the international community the existence of a dolmen with an extraordinary pictorial decoration, the one of Pedra Cuberta, located in the municipality of Vimianzo (A Coruña). In his study, Leisner verified that in the internal face of every orthostat both of the chamber and the passage existed drawings coloured in black and red, on a white background, and in them three differentiated areas could be clearly observed, with a frieze decorated in black in its inferior third, that divided two areas, one superior and another inferior, where red color prevailed. In the above drawing can be observed the orthostat located in the left side of the passage and it is possible to see the complex ornamental forms with lines in zigzag, triangulars and verticals, ondulated motifs…

    In l.987 José María Bello presented the decoration of the dolmen of Dombate (Coruña). The exhaustive study of the monument has allowed to know that the megalithic monument was entirely decorated , both in the chamber and in the passage and that before painting in red (from iron oxide) and black (obtained from vegetal coal), a white primer obtained when mixing kaolin with cow butter had been applied. Like in the dolmen of Pedra Cuberta, a decorated band, this time in red, crosses the inferior third of each one of the orthostats.

    Another dolmen with pictorial decoration is the one of Forno dos Mouros, in Toques (A Coruña ), presented to public knowledge in 1988 by Jacobo Vaquero, since it is painted almost in its totality with lines in zigzag, arranged horizontally, alternating the lines in red with those in black.

   The most recent contribution corresponds to the dolmen of Couto dos Mouros in Rodeiro (Pontevedra), in which are clearly visible in its head stone, pictorial remains in red, forming zigzags. In a near property another dolmen with paintings was located when carrying out agricultural works but it has been transferred to the Museum of Pontevedra for its study.