Dolmen de Soto

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Passage in the Dolmen de Soto

The Dolmen de Soto is a Neolithic subterranean structure in Trigueros, Andalucía, Spain. It is estimated it was built between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago[1][2][3] and is one of about 200 neolithic ritual-burial sites in the province of Huelva.[3]


Surface of the Dolmen de Soto

The site was discovered by Armando de Soto Morillas, as he wanted to build a new house in 1922 on his estate, La lobita.[4] The same year excavation works were initiated on the burial site[5] and by 1924 the German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier was asked to perform some research by the Duke of Alba, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart.[4] Obermaier discovered eight buried bodies in a fetal position accompanied with artifacts[3] following which Obermaier published a book describing the results of the excavation and the characteristics of the funerary site.[5] In 1931 it was declared a National Monument of Spain,[5] but it stayed a private property until 1987, when it was included within the jurisdiction of the Spanish Ministry of Culture.[3]


On the surface it resembles a circle-like mound with a diameter of 75 metres (246 ft).[5] It has a V-shaped passage 20.9 metres (69 ft) long[5] starting at the 0.8 metres (2 ft 7 in) wide,1.55 metres (5 ft 1 in) high western entrance, which expands to 3.1 metres (10 ft) wide and 3.9 metres (13 ft) high in the east.[1] In the eastern end of the passage there is a chamber. During the equinox, the first sun lights the interior of the passage and the chamber for some minutes, and it is assumed this was to denote an eventual re-birth of the buried.[2] Several of the standing-stones have engravings, and it is viewed as one of the largest dolmens in Spain.[4] The passage has 31 standing-stones in the northern part of the passage and 33 in the southern part.[1] The standing stones are of quartzite, sandstone, and limestone and carry 20 capstones that make the roof of the passage.[1]

Artifacts and engravings[edit]

Each of the discovered eight buried bodies were in fetal position and had their respective artifacts beside them.[1] Daggers, cups, and marine fossils were discovered.[1] The artifacts found were not as abundant as those found in other sites; therefore, it is assumed that the Dolmen de Soto was not used for a long time.[1] Engravings were found on 43 standing stones and describe humans, cups, knives,[3] and geometric forms such as simple lines or circles.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "A 5,000-year-old mystery: recording rock art within the Dolmen de Soto". World Archaeology. 2020-05-22. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  2. ^ a b c Ramos, Javier. "Dolmen de Soto: Stonehenge en España". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  3. ^ a b c d e Collado, Hipolito (29 July 2020). "Illuminating the Realm of the Dead: The Rock Art within the Dolmen de Soto, Andalucía, Southern Spain". Bradshaw Foundation. Archived from the original on 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  4. ^ a b c Información, Huelva (2021-04-18). "Dolmen de Soto. Una joya del megalitismo en la Huelva de inicios del siglo XX". Huelva Información (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  5. ^ a b c d e Prehistórico, Caminos de Arte Rupestre. "Dolmen de Soto". Retrieved 2021-05-14.

Coordinates: 37°21′08″N 06°45′05″W / 37.35222°N 6.75139°W / 37.35222; -6.75139