The Crown of the Dead

The Crown of the Dead
The Crown of the Dead

The megalithic art by its very nature is found scattered in remote places and alien to civilization. It is not usual to find its vestiges in places where there has been a continuous settlement through the centuries, since if it were, these large stones would either have been used for other uses or would have simply been destroyed. That is why prehistoric art based on the use of huge stones is found in natural places, from Stonehenge in England to the Menhirs of Carnac inFrance, to cite just two charismatic examples.


Crown of the Dead

This is also the case with the many samples of megalithic art that are distributed along the Pyrenees mountain range, on whose Spanish slope, we can find prehistoric remains from Catalonia to Navarre and Basque Country. And today we are going to focus on the set found in Aragón, specifically in the area called Selva de Oza, in the northernmost area of the province of Huesca.

There is an entire natural area known as Corona de los Muertos where some 120 circular stone formations have been found, formations that historians have placed in the period Neolithic and believed to have been gradually built around 5,000 years ago.

They are stone circles that oscillate between 4 and10 meters in diameter. Initially, the researchers considered that they would be funerary monuments, as is the case with most of the prehistoric art. However, when excavations were carried out, no bone remains were found, nor ashes that would lead us to think of that use. So another explanation has been found.

Given that there are more than a hundred similar structures found in this wooded area, it is believed that they would be the bases of numerous cabins, whose lower part was built from stones found in the river and in a nearby quarry, while the rest of the construction would be made of wood.

Possibly they would only be constructions for the summer, when the inhabitants would settle here, since in winter the cold, snow and humidity conditions can be extreme. They would take advantage of that time to hunt even to graze small herds, something characteristic of this Neolithic period. And it is that in the vicinity there are abundant pastures and also hunting areas. For example, in the neighboring Valle de Guarrinza, where numerous megalithic monuments have also been found in the form of dolmens, this time with funerary chambers that indicate its use for burials. And it is speculated that perhaps they were the burial place of the hunter-gatherers who settled for a few months in the Oza forest.

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