Gois Archeology

Arqueology in Gois



Gois Archeology

The Bilobites of Penedo

During his trip in the muddy bottom of the sea, looking for food, trilobites (invertebrate arthropods) left clues that where characteristics, called bilobites or cruzianas. Their name origins from their shape with two strands arranged side by side in low relief, with ramifications.

Due to Nery Delgado , one of the pioneers of Portuguese geology , the comprehensive study of the fauna of bilobites in Portugal , namely in the area of Penedo de Gois , including the Silurian outcrop in Buçaco mountain (there are about 450 million years , a period characterized by a high level of the oceans ), which extends from the Penedos of Goes to the Luso mountain and it is part of Gois archeology.

Many boards Boulder s were collected and deposited in the Geological Museum ( regarded as the Museum of Museums ) , the former Convent of Our Lady of Jesus , of the Third Order of St. Francisco , in Lisbon , where they are stored . As a curiosity, a large plate, with indication of origin, does the honors of the museum entrance .

The predominant variety in Gois area was the “Cruziana Beirensis ” .

The photo reproduced above, is a plate of quartzite from Penedo, with one side entirely covered by most of the species . As described ​​by Nery Delgado, it is a “remarkable example of numerous bilobites crossing , overlapping each other , and sometimes penetrate looking up at the same time to anatomizing without ever manifesting the lowest disruption of their meeting .


Cult to Ilurbeda

Passionate about the Gois archeology, Dr. João de Castro Nunes investigated and studied some archaeological material which in the middle of the last century, were by themselves “discovered”.
To relate the petroglyphs by themselves called “Stone Letreira” and “Scratched Stone” with altars found in its surroundings, highlighted the hypothesis space around Boulder it is a sanctuary of primitive beliefs, perhaps of worship to a local deity, name Ilurbeda.

ILURBEDA 1Aras votivas (Worship Altars)

There are two small altars found in the pits of Thieves (cova dos ladrões),the name called to the mining pits in the town of “Cabeçadas de cima”, when diguing the material from previous works.

One was deposited in the Museum of the Geological Survey of Portugal, in Lisbon, described in the Journal of Guimarães (vol. LXII, p. 192-195), by archaeologist Eng Octavio da Veiga Ferreira, under the “Ara votiva da Lousã “:



Illurbeda 2

The second altar was admitted in the municipal museum of Arganil in mid-October 1952 at the request of Dr. João Nunes de Castro, who describes in the journal Historical Archives of Gois, No. 5 (pp. 208-212).

Its maximum height is 0.32 m, with a field of epigraphic 0.165 x 0.14 m.

Although quite battered, the text of the inscription is not lost.

Pedra riscada
Pedra riscada

Pedra Riscada (Scratched Stone)

Scratched Stone was the name used by Prof. Castro Nunes in their research in three petroglyphs, named after a natural site that indicated its existence. They are located on the area of the Mestras, parish of Cadafaz.

While virtually disappeared with the passage of time, here are a few of its features. We employ the monograph that Professor João Nunes de Castro published in 1974, in collaboration with Father Augusto Pereira Nunes, giving an account of their work about Gois archeology.

“… (Lie) on the slope of the amphitheater that from the high of “Malhadas” between “Capelos” and descending to the place of  “Mestras”, an similar exhibition  to the “Letreira” Stone , facing the Serra do “Penedo” …

(…) At the time proceeded to the work required for the study and publication of the “Stone Letreira” (…) we were so far from suspecting that northeasterly through the top and between hoods (” Capelos”)  in identical scenario of schist and heather, new entries from other cultures were  soon asking for our attention. (…) At the time proceeded to the work required for the study and publication of the “Stone Letreira” (…) we were so far from suspecting that northeasterly through the top of hoods Sign in identical scenario schist and heather, new entries from other cultures were to soon ask our attentions. And the surprise was wondering why they came in allowing considerably broaden the cultural horizon of the manifestations of rupestrian art in an area of the country where, until recently, were unknown in any absolute monuments of this kind.

Indeed, the petroglifs of “Mestras”, from morphology as the art point of view, as nothing in common with the “stone Letreira.” It was as if they belonged to another tribal world , or were not of the same era. Seemed, at first glance, not part same culture cycle. While in Stone “Letreira”, the process used was abrasion, on Stone “Riscada” was percussion, which in principle provides for the latter stone complex  a latest chronology in Gois archeology …


Pedra Letreira (Sign stone)

Machado Metálico

Um brinco da época romana

Levada dos mouros

Hospital de Góis


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