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Megalithic Skyscapes in Galicia
A. César González García, Felipe Criado-Boado and Benito Vilas Estévez
We present the results of our analysis of two singular Neolithic monuments and two prominent megalithic groups in Galicia. The two singular monuments are the dolmen of Dombate (Baio, Coruña county), perhaps the largest megalithic chamber in Galicia (or at least the most investigated and well-known) that houses an elaborate decorative program with engravings and paintings, and Forno dos Mouros (Bocelo mountains, Coruña county), also housing paintings and belonging to a bigger group aligned along an historical path following the mountain ridge. Both chambers house interesting illumination effects. The group analysis concerns the Barbanza (Coruña county) and Leboreiro, (Ourense county and borderland with Portugal) necropoleis. There, we find that apart from chamber orientation, location and spatial relations of the monuments within the landscape, the monuments incorporate skyscape associations that complemented and dialogued with that of the chamber orientations. Besides, if the particular directions that we find are related to the movements of the sun and/or moon they may indicate the appropriate ritual time for the dead. Of course, skyscape is not the only or the main factor to explain the location of the mounds within the necropolis but are part of a complex system of relations making those monuments part of a cultural landscape. When taking all factors into consideration a complex picture emerges where we can envisage the ways of construction of social time and space in the megalithic period.