​Spanish Stonehenge reappears as drought hits Spain

2022-08-24 22:15:01
​Spanish Stonehenge reappears as drought hits Spain

Severe droughts in Europe have caused alarm among its residents, but an unexpected side effect of the country's worst drought in decades has brought delight to archaeologists as the emergence of a prehistoric stone circle is discovered in a dam whose waterline has receded.

Known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal but dubbed the Spanish Stonehenge, the circle of dozens of megalithic stones is believed to date back to between 4,000 to 7,000 years ago.

No silver lining for farmers

The Dolmen structures were discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926, but the area was later flooded in 1963 in a rural development project under Francisco Franco's dictatorship. Dolmens are vertically erected stones usually supporting a flat boulder, but although there are many across Western Europe, little is known about who erected them or how.

It is suspected that they are tombs, as human remains found in or near, have led to an often-cited theory.

It currently sits in one corner of the Valdecanas reservoir, located in the central province of Caceres, where authorities recorded water levels dropping to 28% capacity.

Archaeologist Enrique Cedillo from Madrid's Complutense University, one of the experts racing to study the circle in fear of it getting submerged again, commented, "It's a surprise, it's a rare opportunity to be able to access it."

Boat tour businesses have also found delight in this moment, which proved good for tourism, but there is no silver lining for local farmers, as crops and livestock become threatened due to the drought and little rain in the region.

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