|1. King's Mound 2. Necrópole de Chan da Cruz, Mounds nº 19, 20, 15 e 6 3. Necrópole de Chan da Cruz, Mounds 9 e 10 4. Necrópole de Chan da Cruz Mound 2 e 3, destruída 5. Petroglyphs of Chan da Cruz 6. Petroglyphs of Coto da Rola 7. Petroglyphs of As Porteliñas 8. Mound of Chan do Rato 9. Petroglyphs of Chan do Rato 10. Petroglyphs of Poza da Lagoa 11. Mound ofs Teixugueiras 12. Mound e petróglifos de Coto Fenteira 13. Petroglyphs of Coto do Corno 14. Petroglyphs of Castro de Negros 15. Castro de Negros 1. King's Mound 16. Mound of Chan da Cruz 23 17. Mound of Chan da Cruz 24 18. Mound of Chan da Cruz 26 19. Mound of Chan da Cruz 29 20. Mound of Chan da Cruz 31 21. Mounds das Pedras dos Picos 1 e 2 22. Mound 2 do Parque Forestal do Vixiador 23. Mound 1 de Castro Ferreiro 24. Mounds 2 e 3 de Castro Ferreiro|
It must be emphasized that IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO PAINT OR SCRATCH THE PETROGLYPHS. To see them more clearly it is better to visit these sites when there is a natural raking light (in order to cast shadow on the engravings), at sunrise or sunset.
From King's Mound, this circular route begins with the petroglyphs of Chan da Cruz, with good depictions of circular combinations, later Christianised by the engraving of a large cross on the panel during historic times. Perhaps unsurprisingly, with an archaeological site with these characteristics in the area, there is a story told by the locals of Santa Compaña travelling along the path that leads to Chan da Cruz.
From Chan da Cruz the route heads north, passing by the petroglyphs of Coto da Rola, where there are numerous carved rocks, which are now in a poor state of preservation and fractured by quarrying work. Once again circular combinations and cupmarks are the main motifs.
Moving through the eucalyptus and pine forests, the route climbs towards Alto das Porteliñas, where there is a large engraved slab, oriented to the sunset and full of abstract motifs with circles, lines, dots, and boat-shaped querns. Researchers are particularly interested in the siting of rock art panels; in the case of Monte Penide they appear to be located in places with good visibility and visual control over the immediate environment, close to paths, and oriented to a panoramic view of their environs.
From there the route descends to Chan do Rato, a flat platform where once more there are circular combinations and spectacular views…
Further northwest is the well known rock art site of Poza da Lagoa. Here there are various outcrops with motifs, the most notable formed by engravings of weapons: daggers and halberds with a clear chronological assignation to the beginning of the Bronze Age. These are surrounded by abstract lines and signs, whose meanings escape our comprehension.
A few metres from this rock there are other engravings, including that known as “El Peine” (The Comb)… An equestrian scene with a pair of human figures, which appear to be male, represented in a very schematic manner, like a child’s scribble, situated on an even more schematic horse, comprised of lines, which locals interpreted as a comb. On the basis of the groove and the motifs depicted it appears that the carving could have been done using a metal tool suggestive of a more recent date, with some authors saying that it is historic.
For visitors to Penide it is well worth descending to O Coto da Fenteira, where you can also visit the mámoa and settlement site located there, and enjoy the impressive views of San Simón, Rande and the ría of Vigo in general. In this zone there are different carved rocks, some of which have been destroyed since they were catalogued, with others decorated with circular combinations and dots.
Returning to the south, and following the peak of Penide in a south-eastern direction, the route leads to Coto do Corno, where there are petroglyphs beneath an electricity pylon. It is very easy to see the dots, lines, and circular combinations, some of which are of great complexity and size, although the deer motif, which is very worn, is not as noticeable.
And now returning to the south, the petroglyphs of Coto del Castro or Castro de Negros.
LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS
A large cross engraved on the rock at Chan da Cruz gives this place its name. It appears to have been used to mark an ancient parochial division and is associated with a significant legend.
Along the parish roads that surround this place the tradition of the procession of the souls, la Compaña, is preserved. This procession passes by on the night of the death of a parishioner. Every parish has its tradition of the procession of souls. A living person of that parish always accompanies the procession, at the front of a retinue of spirits. Local stories recount that when la Compaña heads out, around midnight, the living person rises from their bed (previously people went to bed much earlier, when night fell) and they headed, like a sleepwalker, to Chan da Cruz, where they sat on the rock beside the large carved cross, awaiting the arrival of the procession of souls along the road of his parish to this place. When they arrived the person stood up and placed in front of the procession some of the elements that were traditionally brought with them (a cauldron with an aspergillum, a cross..), and they continued on to the house of the deceased to collect the soul.
Rock art panels connected with legends of the procession of souls. Does this have some real connection with the rock’s original meaning, with this significance passed down through tradition and legend?