Megalithic Heritage in the Sobrarbe Region
The Sobrarbe region lies at the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees and borders with France to the north. Its 2200 Km2 belongs to the province of Huesca and Aragon’s autonomous community.
Here is where the Pyrenees are at their most spectacular and energetic. The summit of Monte Perdido (3.352 m) is the highest point of Sobrarbe and the second highest in the Pyrenees after Aneto (3.404 m). A mountainous landscape carved out by peaks and valleys runs from north to south as it’s crossed by deep river gulleys. And thanks to its extraordinary geological make up it has become part of the world network of UNESCO Geoparks.
Even in such challenging terrain, evidence of early settlements as far back as the Paleolithic age(more than 30000 years ago) have been found in archaeological artifacts and in an exceptional range of cave paintings listed by UNESCO world heritage. In fact more than 20 examples of cave art have been found, most of them in the Río Vero cultural park.
Towards the end of the sixth millennium BC, as a new wave of Neolithic farmers and herdsmen spread out over the Iberian Peninsula, several cave dwelling settlements appeared in Sobrarbe. These cave dwellers expressed their beliefs and culture on the walls of their shelters through cave paintings, as much in a Leviathan style as in a more abstract and symbolic schematic way.
From the end of the Neolithic age up to the Bronze Age, settlers built most of the Megalithic monuments known and studied today in this part of the Pyrenees. There are several Dolmens and Stone circles in Sobrarbe. One of the best known is the Dolmen at Tella, at over 1000mts altitude just next to the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park. In the pre-Pyrenean mountain ranges there is a group of three Dolmens: Las Balanzas, La Capilleta y Pueyoril. There are generally more stone circles and they can be found in the following areas: High up the Ara valley, Góriz, the Puértolas valley, the Cinqueta valley, Labasar, the Salcorz y Yermos del Cementerio valley.
Today, research and archaeological digs continue to provide us with the crucial information we need to understand the development and expansion of the Megalithic age in our area of the Pyrenees.