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El Torcal Megalithic Burial Mound

El Torcal Megalithic Burial Mound

C026/4119

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

On the outskirts of Antequera there are two Bronze Age burial mounds (barrows or dolmens), the Dolmen de Menga (shown here) and the Dolmen de Viera, dating from the 3rd millennium BCE. They are the largest such structures in Europe. The larger one, Dolmen de Menga, is twenty-five metres in diameter and four metres high, and was built with thirty-two megaliths, the largest weighing about 180 tonnes. After completion of the chamber (which probably served as a grave for the ruling families) and the path leading into the centre, the stone structure was covered with earth and built up into the hill that can be seen today. When the grave was opened and examined in the 19th century, archaeologists found the skeletons of several hundred people inside.

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