The Megalithic landscape of Antequera is well worth a visit. As we were passing through Antequera we decided to visit the tumuli, monuments built by clans that could have a connection with the painters of the Cueva de la Pileta. There are two sites. The largest has two Tumuli, Menga and Viera. The other site has the ‘Tholos of El Romeral.’
Leaving the caves we headed down the valley onto the MA7401. This took us to Ronda, capital of Spanish bullfighting and long time fiercely independent Moorish State. From Ronda we took the A367 to Antequera. Having left the Sierra behind in Ronda, we now pass through the foothills, rolling grass hills and increasingly large agro-industrial fields until we reach Antequera which backs onto another set of Sierra (Sierra de Chimenea).
We visited the Menga-Viera site which only takes thirty minutes. The tumuli are impressive. The size of the stones are quite extraordinary. Interestingly archaeologists are unsure who constructed them. The Copper age (5000BC – 2200BC) was the height of megalithism. However it is argued that the Copper age communities in this area were too small to meet the man power requirements. One of the tumuli has an interesting feature, a well bored 19 meters into the solid rock base. When was it bored and by whom nobody is sure. There is three meters of water at the bottom which rises and falls with the seasons. There is only one other known example of a tumuli with a well inside, though the proportions of that well are much smaller compared to Menga’s.
Both tumuli are believed to have been constructed using sacred geometry. Viera connects to the heavens. Menga, for years was thought an anomaly. Then it was discovered that Menga connects to important geological features, sacred sites such as the cave drawings of La Pena mountain.
The landscape around the two tumuli has been sensitively planned out. An information center has books and postcards for sale. There is an educational video on a loop. Outside, a large square has been built using the same alignments as the tumuli. It has various sun dials and moon readers to track the moving heavens a perhaps the original primordials may have done.
Altogether this was a beautiful excursion that took no time at all. For Anika it was not the most exciting outing. However we tried to make it fun. Entrance is free but the center is closed on Mondays.
Opening Tuesday-Saturday: 09:00-18:00