Antequera Dolmen Site
It is one of the oldest and original ways known in the prehistoric world of turning a landscape into a monument by integrating the megalithic architecture with nature. Its origin goes back to the first half of the Fourth millennium B.C.
The Site is placed in the heart of Andalucía, in the South of Spain, and it comprises three megalithic monuments: The Menga and the Viera dolmens and the Tholos of El Romeral, plus two natural moments: the Peña de los Enamorados (Lovers’ Rock) and El Torcal mountain ranges. Besides, it is the first asset from Málaga and megalithic complex from Spain which has been awarded as World Heritage.
The Antequera megalithic dolmens, one of the best and more acknowledged examples of the European Megalithism, were constructed during the Neolithic Age (Menga and Viera) and Bronze Age (El Romeral) with funerary and ritual purposes. However, its exceptionality comes from the intimate dialogue with the landscape; something quite usual in Megalithism but that, in this case, it reaches a unique and unparalleled worldwide relevance within the World Heritage List.
Criteria to be included within the World Heritage List
The Antequera Dolmens are among the most outstanding and widely recognized examples of the megalithic architecture. The most representative one is the Menga Dolmen, one of the largest size -it is an example of colossalism and the only one known which has interior pillars- which turns it into one of the summits of the lintelled architecture in the recent European prehistory.
The Antequera Dolmens Site provides an exceptional insight into the funerary and ritual practices of a highly organised prehistoric society of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Iberian Peninsula. These dolmens materialize an extraordinary conception of the megalithic landscape, being exponents of a close relationship with the natural monuments to which they are intrinsically linked. Menga is the only dolmen in continental Europe that faces towards an anthropomorphic mountain such as La Peña de los Enamorados; and the Tholos of El Romeral, which faces the El Torcal mountain range, is one of the few cases in the entire Iberian Peninsula where the orientation is towards the western half of the sky.
The Antequera Site is an excellent example of megalithic monumental complex (the Menga and Viera dolmens plus the Tholos of El Romeral) that reflects a stage of the human history where the first ceremonial monuments in Western Europe were constructed. The three different types of megalithic architecture used in the dolmen complex, which represent the two great megalithic traditions in the Iberian.