Iberian Peninsular - Antequera's Dolmens, Gibraltar's Gorham's Cave Complex and Nerja Caves

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Beehive tomb of El Romeral

At the end of 2016, after years of petitioning, UNESCO added Antequera's megalithic dolmens and two neighbouring mountains onto their World Heritage list. The UNESCO description (below) recognises the importance of the dolmens in contributing to the understanding European prehistory.

"Located at the heart of Andalusia in southern Spain, the site comprises three megalithic monuments: the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tholos of El Romeral, and two natural monuments: La Peña de los Enamorados and El Torcal mountainous formations, which are landmarks within the property. Built during the Neolithic and Bronze Age out of large stone blocks, these monuments form chambers with lintelled roofs or false cupolas. These three tombs, buried beneath their original earth tumuli, are one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism".

The visitor centre provides a good insight into the role of the dolmens. If you're interested in prehistory, these are definitely worth a visit. http://www.dolmenesantequhttp://www.dolmenesantequerapatrimonio.com/erapatrimonio.com/ 

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Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar
Gibraltar received its first World heritage site nod in 2016 when Gorham's Cave was added to UNESCO's list.   

A rock engraving, described as abstract art by some, was found in the cave in 2012 and is believed to be at least 39,000 years old as it was found below a layer of undisturbed sediment in which 294 Neanderthal tools were discovered. UNESCO listed the caves due to their contribution to Neanderthal and human evolution (see below).

"The steep limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar contain four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits that provide evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 100,000 years. This exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Neanderthals is seen notably in evidence of the hunting of birds and marine animals for food, the use of feathers for ornamentation and the presence of abstract rock engravings. Scientific research on these sites has already contributed substantially to debates about Neanderthal and human evolution". 

For more information on the latest UNESCO World Heritage Sites, go to whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties/

The caves at Nerja, east of Malaga, are a popular visitor attraction. However, the most famous symbolic cave painting, the goat, now has its age called into question. A recent investigation by scientists led by Jose Luis Sanchidran from Cordoba university have dated the goat painting as 20,000 years old as opposed to previous ages given of 43,500 to 45,000 years old.

While this is unlikely to deter visitors to the caves, it does call into question the dates of other cave drawings, not just in Spain.



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