S. Lourenço and the megalithic plateau of Vila Chã
This Iron Age settlement is situated on one of the several elevations that form the fossil cliff parallel to the coastal strip. Located on the hill of S. Lourenço at an altitude of 200m, southwest of the plateau of Vila Chã, it has been occupied since the Chalcolithic (third millennium BC) and, continuously, from the fifth century until sixth and seventh century AD. After a period of neglect, it returns to life in the Middle Ages, from the twelfth century until the fourteenth century, with the construction of a small castle.
The occupation, defended by three orders of stone and earth walls, clearly visible to the East - the most vulnerable part of the hill - is spread over a large area that extends from the acropolis to the quarry that, on the western side, it ruined part of the foothills and the slope where some of the town's structures were located, including one of the defense and watchtowers. In the acropolis and accesses, partly chopped with the construction of the chapel dedicated to the martyr S. Lourenço, porches and staircase, the signs of some constructions related to the Castro habitat are very visible.
The houses were built across the hill, on terraces. The support of the lands was made naturally by the cliff and artificially by walls, which also served as a defense. Generally, the housing centers of the beginning of the Romanization process are composed of three buildings, surrounded by a flagstone that, in addition to the convenience it offered to the inhabitants, also served as a threshing floor for drying the cereals.
The Roman presence is well materialized in the buildings. Intensely occupied until the fourth and fifth century, the site will have continued to guarantee, sporadically or continuously, throughout the Middle Ages, a solid human permanence, as demonstrated by the wall and the ceramics discovered in the crown of the mountain.
See here the video on “The human occupation of the territory: from Prehistory to the Bronze Age” and here the explanatory video “Caturo”.