Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Spain's mysterious underwater 'Stonehenge'

Thought to be more than 4,000 years old, the Dolmen of Guadalperal was “invisible” for almost 60 years – until it unexpectedly reappeared.

Europe suffered an unusually hot summer in 2019. Seven weather stations in Spain recorded their highest temperatures ever in June, and higher-than-average temperatures and drought were registered across the country in July and August. However, the scorching weather conditions revealed an unexpected sight in the Spanish province of Cáceres: as the drought caused the shoreline of the Tagus River to recede, a 4,000- to 7,000-year-old circular monument emerged in the middle of the Valdecañas Reservoir.

Known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal or the “Spanish Stonehenge”, the megalithic monument consists of more than 100 standing granite stones, some up to 1.8m tall, arranged in a 26m-diameter circle. It was likely used as a temple, a burial site and even as a trading spot due to its strategic original location on the banks of the river, and archaeologists believe it was later ransacked by the Romans.

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