The Megalithic Interpretation Centres in Gorafe, Granada province is an essential stop for those interested in the megalithic history of Andalucia.
By Nick Nutter | Updated 4 Jun 2023 | Granada | Places To Go | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read LaterThis article has been visited 1,676 times
Dolmen 134 Gor river valley
In the mid 20th century, the burial mounds that border the ravine down which the River Gor flows in the vicinity of Gorafe were surveyed. Over 240 dolmens were catalogued and more have been discovered since making the Megalithic Park at Gorafe the site of one of the highest concentrations of dolmens in Europe.
Settlement site in Gor river valley
The dolmens are grouped into 10 necropolis areas, each with an associated Neolithic settlement on small ridges within the ravine itself. The occupants of the settlements farmed the land on the banks of the River Gor and buried their dead in their dolmens all of which were built over a period of about 1500 years starting shortly before 3000 BC.
Dolmen 69 Gor river valley
As the 20th century became the 21st, interest in the megalithic history of Europe intensified. Gorafe found itself with the enviable reputation of having the highest concentration of dolmens in Europe.
The entrance to the centre is behind the church
In 2011, a magnificent Centre for the Interpretation of Megalithism was inaugurated. It is, fittingly, mostly underground, at Gorafe. Researchers and an increasing number of people interested in prehistory started to appear. A new project, the Geoparc Granada, centred on Gorafe, was launched that included all the sites of prehistoric interest in the area. In 2020 the authorities behind the project plan to apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Gorafe is likely to become a very popular place.
The interpretation centre uses the latest technology to illustrate and demonstrate the megalithic phenomenon. One of the exhibits is a decorated orthostat that was discovered during excavations of Dolmen 77. The engraving on the stone slab is that of an anthropomorphous figure wearing feathers on its head and carrying a rod or bow in its right hand. It has been interpreted as that of a shaman whose last resting place is the dolmen. The orthostat, when installed, had the engraving on its hidden side, perhaps symbolising that the deceased had passed from the mortal world into that of the ancestors and would no longer be seen in this world. It is also possible that the engraved slab was a small menhir, in the open air during the shaman’s life and used in the construction of the dolmen after his or hers death.
In 2019, the price per entrant was 3 Euros and the centre opened at 12 noon and 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
The conducted visit lasts about one hour so you have to be there at those times to gain entry.