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Drought uncovers submerged 'Stonehenge-like' megaliths
By thinkSPAIN Team Fri, Aug 23, 2019
A PREHISTORIC burial site nobody remembered existed has suddenly emerged in the province of Cáceres after the drought caused a river to run dry.
Based in the Valdecañas reservoir in the village of Peraleda de la Mata in the far-western region of Extremadura, the Stonehenge-like structure was first discovered in 1925 by German priest and archaeologist Hugo Obermaier.
Now, 94 years on, they have resurfaced – but could well get covered up again with the first of the autumn rainfall.
The Valdecañas reservoir was built in 1963 and the stones became completely submerged, meaning the only adults who would remember them would be in their mid-70s now, so the majority of the population would never have seen them and, most likely, have been unaware of their existence until this summer.
Dating back to between 2,000 and 3,000 BC, the structure was originally described as a 'dolmen' – a serious of upright megaliths, or tombs, with horizontal stones placed across the tops like a table, typically found in the UK and northern France, most of which were constructed in the Neolithic era between 4,000 and 3,000 years ago.
'Dolmen' is an ancient Breton word which means 'large stone table'.
And although the one in the province of Cáceres has survived 56 years underwater, chairman of the 'Peraleda's Roots' (Raíces de Peraleda) association Ángel Castaño is concerned that once the reservoir fills up again, the dolmen will not only disappear for a second time but will be vulnerable to ongoing erosion.
“Now that it's completely uncovered and totally dry, it needs to be removed in order to preserve it,” Castaño says.
“In a very short time, the water will rise again and it will deteriorate even more.”
Photographs by the Raíces de Peraleda (Peraleda's Roots) association
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