“Spanish Stonehenge” Revealed by Drought
While the drought isn’t good news, the fact that the stones are visible has some researchers racing to study them.
Drought in Spain has dropped the Valdecanas reservoir to 28% of its typical capacity, revealing an ancient stone circle that was once fully submerged.
The Dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the “Spanish Stonehenge,” is a circle of dozens of large stones that are estimated to date to around 5,000 BC. The site was discovered in 1926 by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier, but a 1963 development project flooded the area, submerging the prehistoric site. While drought isn’t good news, the fact that the stones are visible has some researchers racing to study them.
“It's a surprise, it's a rare opportunity to be able to access it,” said archaeologist Enrique Cedillo from Madrid's Complutense University.
But farmers in the area aren’t quite as excited about the stone circle’s emergence. Farmer Jose Manuel Comendador told Reuters, “There hasn't been enough rain since the spring... There is no water for the livestock and we have to transport it in.”
Spain is experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years, and the climate crisis is resulting in less winter rain to replenish the area, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.