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Penedo do Lexim

An ancient volcanic pipe of the volcanic complex of Lisbon, Penedo do Lexim has a natural monumental quality, almost like a castle made of boulders.

This elevation next to the Cheleiros stream (the current Union of the Parishes of Igreja Nova and Cheleiros) was selected as a residential space for millennia, forming one of the most significant archaeological sites of Mafra Municipality.

The geological, archaeological and natural heritage on offer at Penedo do Lexim was the basis for its classification as a Public Interest Site since 1975. In this place, it is possible to find records of phases of occupation from different chronological periods starting from the Neolithic (4000 before Christ) up to the Roman era.

Around 5000 years ago in Penedo do Lexim, a group of shepherds and farmers settled down, leaving significant traces of their occupation: every day artefacts (pottery, carved and polished stone, carved bone, metal and food scraps), residential areas (cabins) and defensive structures.

This “natural castle” surrounded by boulders was fortified with walls, presenting an example of the first defensive architecture that arose in the 3rd millennium B.C. throughout the Iberian Peninsula.