The “Spanish Stonehenge” has resurfaced in the midst of the drought that plagues Europe
It is the fourth time that the structure, located in a reservoir, has been made visible.
A Spanish “stonehenge” has resurfaced amid the country’s devastating drought, according to authorities.
The historical wonder, officially called the Guadalperal Dolmen, has only been visible four times, according to authorities.
Experts believe that the striking circle of dozens of megalithic stones has existed since 5,000 BC. However, it was first discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926 before it was flooded in 1963 due to a rural development project under the Francisco Franco dictatorship.
Now, the structure is located in a corner of the Valdecanas reservoir, located in the central province of Cáceres.
As Spain faces the worst drought in 60 years, authorities say the reservoir’s water level has dropped to 28% of its capacity.
“It is a surprise, it is a rare opportunity to be able to access it,” archaeologist Enrique Cedillo, from the Complutense University of Madrid, told Reuters.
The structure itself has an unknown creator, according to experts.
Dolmens are vertically arranged stones that often support a flat boulder or capstone, according to the New World Encyclopedia. However, how they were erected remains a mystery.
As it is common to find human remains near or inside dolmens throughout Europe, it is believed that the structures served as tombs, according to the New World Encyclopedia.
The dolmen was last visible in 2019, when Europe was facing a drought, NASA said. This 2019 drought was the first time the entire structure had become visible since it was flooded in 1963, according to NASA.
In 2019, a petition from the Raíces de Peraleda Association was published on Change.org to move the reservoir structure. Today, it has more than 45,000 signatures.
“It is a megalithic dolmen of great value that is now, for the first time, and who knows if for the last time, fully accessible,” the petition reads.
The petition goes on to say that the association sends a “voice of alarm” to officials to move the dolmen, in order to “rescue” it and take advantage of “the current circumstances since it is still well preserved.”
The petition notes that the structure is deteriorating as the rock has become porous and is cracking in places. He warns that if the structure is not moved, it may not be strong enough to move in the future.
The Iberian peninsula where the dolman lives is at its driest in 1,200 years, and winter rainfall is expected to decrease further, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.