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The CSIC magazine publishes a study on La Torre-La Janera

The prestigious magazine ‘Works on Prehistory’, of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), has included in its latest issue the scientific publication ‘The megalithic site of La Torre-La Janera (Huelva): prehistoric monumentalities of Bajo Guadiana’, research work within the framework of the R+D+i Project ‘MEGA-LITHOS. Geo-archaeological study methods for the investigation of the megalithisms of Huelva’ (UHU-1263153), whose main researcher is Dr. José Antonio Linares Catela, from the Prehistory Area of ​​the Department of History, Geography and Anthropology of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Huelva.

This is the first scientific publication on this enclave of extraordinary historical and archaeological value, located in the municipalities of Ayamonte and Villablanca. The project, which is financed by the FEDER Program and the Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities, has been carried out in coordination and collaboration with the company Cota Cero GPH SC, under the direction of Dr. Coronada Mora Molina, in charge of the field activities contracted with the entity that owns the land, Valle del Guadiana SL The study has been carried out by a team of researchers specialized in prehistoric archeology and megalithism.

‘Works on Prehistory’ is a benchmark magazine in this field in Spain and of international importance, and the article is the result of a first phase of research, now completed, where “there has been a search, with a rigorous methodology, for the appropriate treatment of heritage, archaeological knowledge, protection and conservation of the site of La Torre-La Janera”. An exhaustive performance of “a unique, extraordinary megalithic site, which stands out, among other things, for surely housing the largest number of menhirs concentrated in one space in the entire peninsula”, present in the place both individually and in linear groups ( alignments) or circular (chromlech).

The investigation has integrated various sampling, analysis and documentation techniques, namely surveys, geoarchaeology, geographic information technologies and photogrammetry, and the study has yielded important conclusions, such as, for example, that it is an archaeological area where a “great quantity and variety of megaliths (menhirs, dolmens, burial mounds, cists and enclosures) from different chronocultural periods built in greywacke”. Likewise, the “presence of monuments that integrate the outcrops as architectural and symbolic elements, as well as the probable synchrony between the menhirs and funerary structures” is emphasized.

José Antonio Linares therefore highlights that La Torre-La Janera has its own personality, giving Bajo Guadiana enormous relevance as a study territory for Iberian megalithism. Pending the chronological results obtained in the laboratory tests, it is estimated that the monuments with the first vertical stones and the rest of the megaliths of the enclave were erected from the Middle Neolithic to the Early Bronze, approximately from the middle of the V to the beginning of the II millennium BC, these ancestral spaces being reused in later periods.

The discovery of this archaeological site provides new arguments that reinforce the interpretations of Atlantic megalithism as one of the oldest phenomena aimed at the transformation and anthropization of the territories, in a similar way to graphic markers, and for this reason, the Bajo Guadiana expands the horizon of knowledge of the megalithisms of Western Europe and the potential for research in the southwest of the peninsula.

As the team maintains, with the research work, a response has been given to a heritage problem and a social concern, guaranteeing the protection and conservation of the site and generating, with the University of Huelva at the forefront, a rigorous research process.

The study of the archaeological site continues today with the General Research Project ‘MENHIGUA. Megaliths and menhirs of Bajo Guadiana: the site of La Janera, Huelva’, authorized and subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage of the Junta de Andalucía. This project, led by the University of Huelva and in collaboration with the University of Alcalá, is being directed by researcher José Antonio Linares and professors Juan Carlos Vera Rodríguez (UHU) and Primitiva Bueno Ramírez (UAH). During its six years of validity (2021-2026), archaeological excavations, surveys and multidisciplinary studies will be carried out that will enable the comprehensive analysis of the site.

LINK TO THE ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN ‘WORKS OF PREHISTORY – https://bit.ly/3Pl10wg

The CSIC magazine publishes a study on La Torre-La Janera

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