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Key Dates


6th December 2015

Costa dos Castros goes to Culturgal

Culturgal is Galicia’s largest cultural industry fair. Costa dos Castros representatives are invited to present the project as a model for Community Archaeology and sustainable tourism projects in Galicia.

31st October 2015

First Costa dos Castros crowdfunding campaign reaches 100%

Over £7,500 is raised for the first ever archaeological crowdfunding campaign in Galicia.

October 2015

First dig at Chavella hillfort

For the first time, DigVentures comes to dig at Costa dos Castros. The team discovers that Chavella is a mysterious hillfort with not as many finds as expected, but many unsolved questions.

26th September 2015

First campaign to clear Cano dos Mouros hillfort

A team of local volunteers and members of the Comunidade de Montes of Vildesuso spent the day clearing Cano dos Mouros and reveal part of the well-preserved defensive wall that surrounds the hillfort. The day ends with the Festa do Rei Sol (Sun King Festival) to celebrate an old legend linked to the site with traditional music, drink and food at sunset.

31st August 2015

Over 500 people visited A Cabeciña

The records show that 530 people visited A Cabeciña hillfort and rock art station and participated on the guided tours that were offered during the excavation campaign throughout August.

August 2015

Second excavation campaign at A Cabeciña hillfort

An international team discover the hillfort was much more complex than expected. The star finds of this campaign are a gaming piece and various well-preserved pieces of imported pottery.

15th July 2015

Costa dos Castros project and crowdfunding campaign launch

Four Comunidades de Montes and Oia Council officially announce the launching of Costa dos Castros: a project for rural development through community archaeology and sustainable tourism. Costa dos Castros and DigVentures launch the first ever archaeological crowdfunding campaign in Galicia.

6th June 2015

First Beer Festival at A Cabeciña hillfort

Locals and visitors tasted four craft beers elaborated by local brewery Trisk-Ale and voted for their favourite, which is now marketed as A Cabeciña beer. A percentage of the sales goes towards the Costa dos Castros project.

April 2015

The first trees are planted in the arboretum

Schoolchildren help plant the first trees in the arboretum at Mougás.

17th March 2015

Government launches project to restore A Cabeciña hillfort

The regional government and the Spanish Ministry of Development launch a project to enhance 18 archaeological sites in the Pontevedra province, including A Cabeciña hillfort.

16th February 2015

Archaeologists find bronze axe at A Cabeciña hillfort

This spectacular find proves that the castro dates back to the very first moments of the Iron Age. It is also evidence of ancient trade, as these types of axes were used to exchange for goods.

2nd February 2015

The first wall of a stone round house is found at A Cabeciña

After a few weeks without many finds at the castro, at last the team of archaeologists find a wall. This is the first round house of Costa dos Castros to be excavated and a turning point for the project and for the local community, particularly for those locals who till then weren't completely convinced there were buildings underneath the ground at A Cabeciña!

January - March 2015

First excavation campaign at A Cabeciña hillfort

The regional government (Deputación de Pontevedra) and the Comunidade de Montes of Mougás begin the first ever dig at Costa dos Castros. Archaeologists find evidence of three occupation periods in the settlement, including the remains of several round houses; local, Roman and Punic pottery; a bronze and an iron axe.

July 2013

The Comunidades launch first heritage trail in Oia

The four Comunidades de Montes of Costa dos Castros open the 'Ruta Máxica', a popular walking trail that runs along the backbone of Oia from north to south, linking many archaeological sites such as castros and rock art panels.


The Comunidade of Mougás starts work to enhance A Cabeciña

The Comunidade de Montes removes the eucalyptus trees that were growing on the site.


The Comunidade of Oia enhances A Pedreira rock art

This becomes the first archaeological site of Costa dos Castros to be made accessible to the public. The Comunidade de Montes cleared the site and created a path and panels for visitors.

July 2008

The Comunidade of Viladesuso opens nature reserve Sobreiras do Faro

This protected cork oak forest is Galicia’s first private nature reserve, funded and promoted entirely by the Comunidade de Montes of Viladesuso. The cork trees ('sobreiras') were used in the past to make bee hives, as honey was an important produce for Oia Monastery.


Auga dos Cebros rock art panel is reported to the archaeological community

Collaborators of the Quiñones de León Museum locate and report this panel at the 22nd National Archaeology Congress in Vigo.


A local hunter discovers 18 bronze axes

A local from Mougás was chasing a rabbit that had disappeared through a gap between some large rocks, and discovered a hidden deposit of 18 "machados de talón". These are bronze axes that were used, not as tool or weapons, but as coins to trade for goods. In 2015 archaeologists found this type of axe at A Cabeciña hillfort. All the axes are now in Pontevedra Provincial Museum.

1926 - 1932

Two monks record rock art at Costa dos Castros

Two erudite monks living at Oia Monastery, E. Jalhay and P. Silva, start prospecting the area and recording rock art, although no references to Auga dos Cebros panel have been found in their research.


A treasure hunter blows up Auga dos Cebros

The news was reported in a local newspaper. A book on treasure hunting that was very popular in Galicia at the time said “inside a rock carved with a boat and two small anchors there’s a huge treasure”. A man who had read the book believed there was a treasure underneath the boat carving at Auga dos Cebros and therefore blew it up with dynamite!


Foundation of Oia Monastery

Although some documents talk of a previous monastic building, the first conclusive evidence of the foundation date to 1137, when three different congregations came together into one. Later on, in 1185, they joined the Cistercian Order.

1 BC - 1 AD

The Romans occupy Gallaecia

The Romans begin an effective occupation of what was to become the Roman province Gallaecia, today Galicia. The Romans bring cultural changes and writing, which cause the transition from Iron Age to the Roman period and from Protohistory to History.

2,800 years ago (800 BC)

Communities settle in the landscape and Iron Age begins

The transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age begins when people started living in castros (hillforts). Humans settle for the first time and build stone roundhouses and huge walls, ramparts and ditches to protect them and their territory. This process can be followed at the oldest settlements at Costa dos Castros, mainly A Cabeciña hillfort.

3,000 - 4,000 years ago (2000 BC – 1000 BC)

Engraving of the Rock Art

It’s not easy to date the so-called Atlantic European rock art, to which most of Costa dos Castros' rock art belongs. It's generally accepted they were created in the Bronze Age, although various authors believe some motifs were carved in the Iron Age.

Archaeology / In Your Hands