4,000-year-old megalithic necropolis found near Spanish beach

by Lorraine Williamson
megalithic necropolis
del canto chambers 2

BARBATE – Near the legendary lighthouse of Trafalgar on the Atlantic coast in Andalucia, archaeological remains from a megalithic necropolis from the Bronze Age have recently been discovered. The first results were presented last May. Now another important find can be added.

These are the remains of the second 4,000-year-old megalithic necropolis found at Cape Trafalgar. Furthermore, the find consists of a new funerary structure. Therefore, this confirms the existence of an entire megalithic necropolis in the Trafalgar site. 

This new find is part of the work of the Junta de Andalucía to demarcate the site. Archaeologists from the University of Cádiz work here together with the Territorial Delegation of Culture and Historical Heritage in Cádiz of the Regional Government. The regional Ministry of Culture is now closing the site to protect it until excavations resume after the summer. 

Megalithic necropolis from the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 2nd millennium BC 

“The location of this second tomb confirms the existence of a necropolis. This can be roughly chronologically placed between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC,” said the study leader. A prehistoric necropolis in the Trafalgar tombolo was raised as early as 1998. That was after superficial investigations in the municipality of Barbate enabled documentation of a possible prehistoric funerary structure, which was confirmed last year after excavations carried out by researchers from the University of Cadiz. 

Great interest from an architectural point of view 

With great interest from an architectural point of view, this new megalithic tomb has been located and excavated. Furthermore, the first tomb was of mixed construction. It consisted of a small corridor leading to a small circular chamber dug into the rock like an artificial cave. 

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Compartmented burial chamber 

“Unusually, this burial chamber is compartmentalized. For this compartmentalization, they have erected a kind of pillar using up to 3 large vertical orthostats. They make it possible to create different spaces in the chamber,” says one of the other researchers in the Diario the Cadiz. 

At the construction level, the presence of an ossuary (with a minimum number of five people) on a stone pavement in the northeast sector of the room is also noticeable. 

Bone remains 

Several individuals from Tomb 1 have already been dated using the Carbon 14 technique. Furthermore, they can be traced back to the period 1800-1600 BC. The bone remains found in this second grave will still be analysed. The researchers want to obtain as much information as possible about these societies that inhabited the Atlantic coast of Cadiz 4000 years ago (chronology, type of diet, sex, age, pathologies, the origin of the spawn, etc.). 

Also read: An almost intact concentration camp found

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