News'Spain's Stonehenge' - Drought reveals mysterious structure

'Spain's Stonehenge' – Drought reveals mysterious structure

Created: 08/24/2022, 3:48 p.m

Spaniens „Stonehenge“: Die Dolmen von Guadalperal prähistorisch
Spain’s “Stonehenge” emerges: the dolmens of Guadalperal are dated to 5,000 years BC. ©Juan Lopez/imago

Spain is currently suffering from an extreme drought. Water levels are falling in rivers and lakes. Now the lack of water reveals a mysterious building.

Madrid – It is one of the worst droughts in Europe. Spain is hit particularly hard. The Iberian Peninsula is the driest it has been in 1,200 years. Farmers fear for their harvest. Because the water level in a reservoir has fallen sharply, a mysterious structure reappears. It is a prehistoric stone circle – often called “Spanish Stonehenge”. Officially, the 150 megalithic stones (dated 5,000 BC) are the dolmens of Guadalperal. Archaeologists are excited.

“Spain’s Stonehenge”: Drought reveals mysterious structure in Spain

“It’s a surprise, it’s a rare opportunity to have access to it,” archaeologist Enrique Cedillo of Madrid’s Complutense University told Reuters. He is among the experts who want to examine the circle before it disappears back into the water.

The Guadalperal dolmens are located in the Spanish province of Caceres. In the Franko period, the area and the complex were flooded. The stone complex, discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1925, sank into a reservoir. Since the flooding in 1963, the dolmens have only been fully visible four times. Most recently, the fall in the water level of the Valdecanas reservoir made headlines in 2019 when the famous structure appeared above the water. Now it is time again.

One can only speculate about the purpose of the megalithic complex, although there are many stone circles in Western Europe. Little is known about who built it. There are various theories that it could be a burial site or a place of worship. Researchers are using high-tech to try to unravel the riddle of the megaliths, their meaning and construction.

Guadalperal Dolmen: Drought reveals view of megalithic stones

The Guadalperal dolmens are shaped differently than Stonehenge in southern England. The dolmens are arranged vertically and are believed to have supported a stone roof, thereby forming a chamber. The room could be entered through a narrow corridor. Engravings and paintings have been found on the slabs of the megaliths.

For nearby towns, the emergence of the dolmens is just welcome in the drought. They hope for dolmen tourists. If you want to see the stones, you have to hurry. When the rain falls in autumn and winter, the dolmens will probably disappear back into the water of the reservoir. (ml)

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