The excavation work for the construction of the Ourense-Santiago High Speed Line, in the parish of Abades, brought to light an intact megalithic chamber and the remains of a complex construction system. The monument was erected following the style of that time, i.e. placing stones to form a kind of box and covering them with a large slab. The chamber was buried under a lot of earth, the tumulus, giving it a round appearance.
Carbon-14 tests date the construction on this site between 4340 and 4280 BC, making it one of the oldest megalithic chambers that have been dated so far in Galicia.
To understand the value for its builders, we should take into account the fact that metal was unknown and the hundreds of cubic metres forming the tumulus had to be moved using wooden instruments, bones, wicker baskets and sacks of esparto. The slab covering the chamber weighs around 2,950 kilos.
Inside the chamber, under pieces of the broken roof slab, there were still traces of an individual burial. Although the acidity of Galician soils prevents such old bones from being preserved, a necklace of amber and variscite beads occupied the centre of the chamber, laid out as if placed on top of a human body. A small hoe plate, a chisel and a grinder complete the funeral belongings. These items are now on display in the Rock Art Interpretation Centre of Campo Lameiro.
How to get there
In the town of A Bandeira (N-525 road), you take the regional PO-204 road leading towards the municipality of Vila de Cruces, and in the village of Campomarzo, you turn left towards the Sanctuary of Abades. The tumulus is located near the local road, right above the cut-and-cover tunnel built over the AVE (high-speed) railway line.