The Pla de les Gates Cist

(4700-3400 BCE - Middle Neolithic)

Neolithic tomb from the initial stage of the megalithic in the Empordà region. Originally it was made up of a short rectangular chamber, oriented along a north-east axis, encased within an outcrop of slate that rises from the plane. Only one side of the slate slabs that surrounded the chamber is preserved of the structure. A large slab, which has disappeared, and the large mound that surrounded the cist enclosed this burial plot.

It was located in 1986 by archaeologists who described the neighbouring cist. It was excavated completely the following year and no artefacts were found there. However, a slab was found in the mound that was firmly set in, and that has been interpreted as a stele-menhir which probably served as a marker. An analysis of the pollen has found that in the past this area was populated by shrubby vegetation with isolated holm-oaks and cork-oaks.

This cist is part of what has been called the necropolis of Montjoi, an early burial area that occupied the mountain passes within a radius of 1.5 km. The population probably inhabited the fertile valleys in the surrounding areas and the tombs are logically placed at the limits of the communal territory, unsuitable for agriculture use.