Dolmen del prado de Lácara

Mérida, Spain

The dolmen del prado de Lácara is a megalithic passage tomb located northwest of Mérida. It is a notable megalithic tomb, built during the late Neolithic towards the end of the 4th millennium BC or early 3rd millennium BC. It is one of the most monumental and well preserved sites in the Extremadura region.

The dolmen in Lácara is a typical Extremaduran tomb with a long corridor, the largest in the region. The chamber, used for collective burials, is circular and made of seven granite slabs, one of which remains intact. The corridor is 20 meters long and divided into an atrium and two antechambers. The dolmen was originally covered by an earth mound with an elliptical shape, surrounded by a pebble wall.

The dolmen's prolonged use and instances of looting have made it difficult to estimate the number of burials and the full range of grave items. Excavations uncovered various artifacts, including ceramic containers, stone tools, arrowheads, personal adornments, copperheads, a slate plaque idol, and ocher pieces. The burial dates back to the late Neolithic period, around the end of the 4th millennium BC or the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. It continued to be used for Chalcolithic burials in the 3rd millennium BC.

The dolmen was repurposed in Roman and Medieval times, affecting the original burials and grave goods. It also endured structural damage, including quarrying and dynamiting in the 19th century. Fortunately, parts of the structure have survived, allowing us to imagine its original grandeur.

The dolmen's existence has been known since the late 19th century, with references by scholars like Vicente Barrantes. It was declared a National Monument in 1931 and underwent systematic excavation from 1957 to 1958, led by archaeologist Martín Almagro Basch.



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Mérida, Spain
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Founded: 3000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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User Reviews

Bruce Legge (12 months ago)
There are quite a lot of Dolmens in Spain near the Badajoz border with Portugal, and I managed to visit 6 in the one day. By far the best is Dolmen de Lacara. Park the car in the parking lot alongside EX-214 and walk the last 500 metres to the dolmen. The walking path is uneven and badly eroded (not suitable for wheelchair access or those with walking difficulties). There are no public toilets. The dolmen is in great condition and large. If you are interested in neolithic history then this is a must see for you. We visited on a Sunday mid July 2023 and had the entire location to ourselves. Amazing !
Samuel Harper (2 years ago)
Great place to stop and see. Park off the road and walk about 15 minutes down the path.
Alejo J Nevado (4 years ago)
Very impressive prehistoric monument. It is paradoxical that such archaeological sites like this one hardly appear in any touristic guide, while Stonehenge is advertised almost even in kitchen towel rolls. I was more impressed by this Lacara tumulus. I hope in the future they add more information to the informative panels, as there is a lot to show about the prehistoric cultures of this area. Its location close to the highway also make it an ideal touristic attraction, but maybe the regional government is too busy looking at their own navel... I don't know, but obviously the site could be shown more intensively and used to attract more tourism and explain the history of the area.
Robert Doyle (5 years ago)
Interesting prehistoric site. Parking in dirt lot on the side of rroad, and then walk abt 500 meters down path to Dolmen. Interpretive signs at site.
Klaus Bello (6 years ago)
Hey, that were your ancestors too. Smart hard working humans at the beginning of our evolutionary journey. remember you live on borrowed time.
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