The dolmens of Soto in Southern Spain, discovered 100 years ago

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The province of Huelva in Southern Spain can boast more than 600 prehistpric megalithic monuments. Near the town of Trigeros is the dolmen of Soto, a good example of the type most commonly found here. It was built between 3000 and 2500 BC.

The monument was discovered in 1923 on a farmstead called ‘La Lobita’, next to a plot which had already been the subject of an archaeological excavation. It became a national monument in 1931 after 3 years of excavation and partial restoration. In 2008 a further restoration project took place, including the installation of internal lighting. The mound measures 80 metres in total, making it one of the largest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. Nearby is an Information Centre.

The dolmen is orienteered east-west and has an entrance at least 21 metrs long. That makes it the longest of all the many dolmens in the province of Huelva. The width of the entrance varies between 0.82 cm and 3.1 metres in the chamber and in total there are 70 support stones. The tomb was robbed of most of its contents sometime in the distant past. But still 8 bodies were found here with artefacts including pottery, an armband, fossils etc

The restored mound in which the dolmen was built.
Many of the stones in the monument bear carved symbols. It is thought that the upright stones once stood apart in the landscape and were brought here later to build the dolmen..
In 2023 it is 100 years since the dolmen of Soto was discovered and in November 2023 a symposium was organised in Trigeros, the town closest to the dolmen.
A Spanish film gives a good impression of the monument
Close to the dolmen are two other remains of dolmens. These are known as Soto 2 and Soto 3. They have not been properly excavated and there is very little to see.
Under the mound in this field lies Soto 2. As the ground has always been farmed, the monument is not protected. In 2023 a new law made it possible to protect this kind of monument in Spain.
Remains of Soto 2 in the field.

Translation Alun Harvey

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