Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/52

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42
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Some human bones lay in the midst of these memorials of human wealth. Unfortunately, they have been scattered.

We can not leave the antas of Portugal without mentioning the bowls which M. Cartailhac observed on some of the megaliths of Alemtejo. Such vessels have long been known in prehistoric archaeology. They are found in Switzerland, in the Pyrenees, in Brittany, in Scotland, in Scandinavia, and on the rocks of Hindostan. The bowls, engraved on the walls of some of the crypts, recently disengaged from their earthy envelope, have doubtless, as M. Cartailhac observes in relating his discovery, an indisputable antiquity, value, and meaning; but we can not determine the age, and the value and meaning are unknown to us.

PSM V31 D052 Anta of paredes near evora.jpg
Fig. 3. — Anta of Paredes, near Evora.

Megaliths are especially abundant in Estremadura, the richest province in Roman Spain, now the most wretched and least populous. They are called garitas by the peasants of the province, but farther north, in the Asturias and the Basque provinces, they are known as areas. A most remarkable example of these works is situated at Equilaz, on the road from Vittoria to Pampeluna.

The chamber is of a horseshoe-shape, 5·70 metres long and 4·50 metres wide. It was crowned by a single stone, which had been broken recently. Another, nearly similar, with an approach covered with three large flat stones, and a narrow entrance-way, is still to be seen at Caugas de Oñu, 60 kilometres from Oviedo.

PSM V31 D052 Lapa dos mousos.jpg
Fig. 4. — Lapa dos Mousos.

We also mention the megalithic sepulchres in the province of Barcelona, at Pla-Marshall, and the one near Villalba-Saserra, known as the Pedra arca. Both of these are placed in the center of a cromlech formed of stones planted in a standing position. The ruins of the covered ways giving access to the crypt are still visible. Thirteen megalithic crypts are described as remaining in Andalusia and the ancient kingdom of Granada. The structures were formerly much more numerous; but they have been destroyed in the processes of agriculture or in the search for minerals. Such a fate has overtaken the important monument of Dilar, two leagues south of Granada.