The museums in the province of Pontevedra house a great priceless archaeological heritage. These places allow us to uncover the legacy of our ancestors and to explore the millenary history and popular culture of this territory.
In the town of A Guarda we can visit the museum Museo Arqueolóxico do Monte Santa Trega (Masat), the first one in Galicia dedicated to archaeology. This place, on the top of the pre-Roman hillfort castro of Santa Trega Hill, provides information on its different periods and the archaeological research works based on this settlement, dated between the 4th and 1st centuries BC and AC. Here there are scrapers, stone picks, axes, rock engravings and tools, as well as worship elements and ornaments.
This privileged location, 341 metres above sea level, offers an amazing 360º panoramic view over the Miño River, which serves as the natural border between Galicia and Portugal. This fantastic place gathers each August around 10,000 people due to the festival Festa do Monte, declared of Galician Tourist Interest.
The 20-hectare rock art archaeological park Parque Arqueolóxico da Arte Rupestre de Campo Lameiro (PAAR) boasts the largest number of open-air rock engravings in Europe. This place has a building that, with the use of multimedia techniques, offers an innovative exhibition area which allows visitors to explore the history of the petroglyphs in Galicia, to learn how they were made, to identify the different motifs of these rock engravings and to know their meaning.
This route through the archaeological heritage in the province of Pontevedra, which departs from Campo Lameiro, allows us to understand our ancestors’ life. The exhibition presents in an educational, visual, simple and attractive way panels, screens or ancient pieces uncovered in the excavations, such as stone chips, knives, celts, arrowheads or decorative elements.
In the town of Pontevedra, the Edificio Sarmiento−one of the buildings of the Museo de Pontevedra− has an area dedicated to the archaeological heritage of As Rías Baixas. Currently, pieces from the Prehistory and the Antiquity are displayed in its permanent rooms, showing three emblematic archaeological collections: the Roman epigraphy, the ancient craftsmanship in precious metals and the Bronze Age.
The Roman epigraphy is made up of fifty votive, and thirty funeral inscriptions that provide important information about the social and intellectual organisation of the Gallaecian-Roman people in this region. Some remains stand out, like the ones of the castro in O Facho Hill, two pieces uncovered in Lourizán, the monolithic pile or the fragment of a monument inscription of Santa Eufemia.
The ancient craftsmanship in precious metals collection boasts some archaeological remains as the Treasure of Agolada or the Treasure of Caldas, with objects such as ingot-rings, short necklaces and bracelets, among others. Six torques from the Treasure of Foxados, which dated back to the castro period of the Iron Age, are preserved; as well as other pieces such as the ones of the Treasure of Bedoya, with rings, denarius, aureus, etc.
In the collection of the Bronze Age, the most remarkable are the axes, daggers and spearheads from Monte das Cabras Hill, besides other pieces from the remains in Codeseda, Meira and the Ulla River and Miño River. Moreover, it is also worth mentioning the ones in Samieira, Noalla, Mougás, O Hío or Cabeiras, which have axes, spearheads, bracelets and a sword.
In the town of Marín, near Pontevedra, we can visit the petroglyphs of Mogor, the most renowned ones in Galicia, with its distinguished labyrinths. The Centro de Interpretación dos Petróglifos de Mogor houses several panels that introduce visitors into the rock art, besides giving the opportunity to explore the labyrinths present in these engravings and rarely seen in Galicia.
The next stop will be in the very heart of the town of Ponte Caldelas. There, the Centro Arqueolóxico de Tourón houses the most unique open-air rock art site in Galicia, where in addition to learning about the culture of the petroglyphs, we can also find an exhibition about the landscape and settlements from the Neolithic and the way our ancestors made the engravings.
In the town of Lalín we can find the interpretation centre of Castrodeza, located in a well-known avant-garde building created by the architects Luis M. Mansilla and Emilio Tuñón. This place aims to reveal and promote the culture of the castros, their legends and their gastronomy; it is a place where the new technologies go hand-in-hand with the cultural heritage of the region of Deza.
This museum is divided into four rooms with amazing multimedia resources in order to re-enact the culture and the lifestyle of the people who inhabited Deza thousands of years ago. The first room shows a recreation of this territory with the location of all the castros.
In addition, an interactive multi-touch table allows visitors to uncover detailed information about the castros. It even offers 3D reconstructions, rivers’ locations, paths, churches and shrines of the different towns of the region.
The second room has an incredible screening which tells some myths and legends that prove the importance of the castros in Galicia. In the third room visitors will find out that the castro culture is still part of the collective memory and of the popular mythology of the Deza’s people, with different audio recordings about local stories and legends told by the inhabitants of the region.
The last room is basically dedicated to the gastronomy and one can find in here a castro recipe book with removable pages, information about recent researches and a large puzzle accompanied by images and sounds that recall the way of cooking in the castro period, by using QR codes. Furthermore, this space bring us closer to the present cuisine of this territory.
From an avant-garde building we move now to a 15th-century pazo (Galician manor house). The Pazo de Liñares, in Lalín, houses the so-called centre of the castro culture Centro de Xestión e Coñecemento Arqueolóxico (CXCA) and is divided into two stages: one destined to research and the other to exhibition. Further, this palace building also hosts the marionette museum Museo Galego da Marioneta.