Spanish Stonehenge Reappears

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A local culture association has urged the government to move the rocks to a permanently dry location (Ruben Ortega Martin/Raíces de Peralêda)

Drought Reveals Dolmen of Guadalperal, Popularly Dubbed ‘Spanish Stonehenge’

by Meilan Solly Smithsonian.com

In 1963, the Dolmen of Guadalperal—a megalithic monument raised in the city of Cáceres, Spain, around 4,000 to 7,000 years ago—vanished from view. Nearly 60 years later, local news outlets report, the landmark widely known as “Spanish Stonehenge” has reemerged, freed from submersion in the Valdecañas Reservoir by an unusually severe drought season.

“All my life, people had told me about the dolmen,” Angel Castaño, resident of a nearby village and president of the local Raíces de Peralêda cultural association, tells Atlas Obscura’s Alyssa McMurtry. “I had seen parts of it peeking out from the water before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in full. It’s spectacular because you can appreciate the entire complex for the first time in decades.”

Still, the dolmen’s reappearance isn’t wholly positive: Per a Change.org petition calling for the monument’s preservation, the granite stones that dot the archaeological site are highly porous. Some show signs of erosion or have fallen over; others are already cracking. Cultural preservationists are calling to move the megaliths to a new location on dry land. “If we don’t act now,” Castaño warns in another interview with Local’s Fiona Govan, “it could be too late.”

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