THE Antequera dolmens have officially received UNESCO World Heritage status.
The UN cultural agency had been gathered in Istanbul to decide whether or not the elaborate structures, dating back to between 5,000 and 22,000 BC, were worthy of the label.
The Dolmens are an ensemble of megalithic monuments made up of the Menga and Viera dolmens and the tholos of El Romeral.
They are described as outstanding examples of megalithic architecture and are among the most recognised and quoted in the world.
The Menga Dolmen is famous for its significant geographical location – on the summer solstice, 21 June, the morning sun shines over the peak of the Peña de los Enamorados and straight along the dolmen’s entrance corridor.
The specific positioning would have had mystical importance for the prehistoric tribes who built it.
It is believed the architects were farmers who resided in the Guadalhorce valley during the Neolithic period and copper age.
It would have taken the combined effort of several communities to source and transport the stones and to complete the constructions.
They have remained remarkably intact having been built at least 5,000 years ago.
Gibraltar’s Gorham cave has also been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.