Officially called the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the vertically arranged megalithic stones are now on full display in the corner of the Valdecanas Reservoir in Caceres. It comes after water levels in the reservoir dropped to 28% of their capacity due to a sudden drought, authorities in the central province of Caceres said.
As weather conditions wreaked havoc in rural Spain, the receding waterline of the dam in the Valdecanas gave onlookers a ‘rare chance’ to take a look at Spain’s Stonehenge, which was first discovered in 1926.
Enrique Cedillo, archaeologist from the Complutense University of Madrid, said: “It’s a surprise, it’s a rare opportunity to be able to access it.”
After the area was flooded in 1963 as part of a rural development project, the Spanish Stonehenge only became fully visible on four occasions.
According to NASA, it was last spotted in 2019, during another drought in Europe.
The space agency also says it was the first time the entire structure had become visible since it was flooded in 1963.
Dolmens are vertically arranged stones, which often support a bolder dish.
A handful can be found across Western Europe, but it’s a mystery as to who built them.
According to one theory, these could be graves, as human remains have been found in or near many stones.
Tourist associations, as well as local historians, have already called for the stones to be moved to a museum in the area, or even simply moved to dry land.
In fact, on a farm in southern Spain, archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be one of the largest megalithic sites in Europe.
Dating back around 7,000 years, experts suspect the site was used to observe and celebrate astronomical solstices, much like the Salisbury structure.
Also similar to the stones of Salisbury Plain, the Spanish structure has over 500 standing stones and two stone circles.
The researchers wrote in the journal Trabajos de Prehistoria: “It is a unique site to date in the Iberian Peninsula. . . Community activities around the menhirs and dolmens could have served to fix the territory of the ancestors, to promote the bonds of intergroup cohesion and to create a memory of the place for a long period.
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