Yermos del Cementerio Circles

  • Locality :Mediano
  • Municipality :La Fueva
  • Altitude :530 m
  • Listed status :
  • Cultural Sequence :Bronze Age






    This site covers a surface area of approximately 3800 m2 and was affected by the highway construction works and forestry planting.

    Six stone circles have so far been found, but it is possible that there may be more hidden in the vegetation. Of the six circles discovered, only two have been excavated and even then only their central area, where burials are most likely to have taken place.
    These six circles are formed by stones set into the ground. Most of the circles are 6.60 m in diameter. They date back to the Bronze Age, between 1800 and 700 BC. It is possible that they belonged to people who lived from animal herding who chose this spot as it is a natural pass between the mountains and the plain. The results of the archaeological excavations seem to indicate that funerary rites were held here and that the ashes of cremated bodies were buried at the site.

    The archaeologist Javier Rey states that the place chosen for this necropolis corresponds to a natural gateway between the Pyrenees or mountainous area and the flatland or plain of the rest of the province of Huesca.

    From the site there is a commanding view to the east of the course of the river; to the west the presence of the mountain peaks makes it impossible to see far into the distance.

    The cromlechs on this site belong to the simplest type of this kind of burial and consist of the circular structure of stones without either a tumulus or paving. The ashes were buried directly in a pit in the ground, without stone lining or an urn. No grave goods were found.
    The funeral ritual consisted of the cremation of the bodies on a large wooden pyre prior to burial. In all likelihood, the cremation did not take place in the funerary monument, as ustrina, cremation burial sites, were usually located in places near the circles so that, once the cremation was concluded, the ashes could be gathered and taken to the cromlechs.

    Two carbon fragments from circles 1 and 2 were sent for analysis. C-14 dating of the first sample determined a date of between 759-66 BC, a time that some scholars identify as the close of the Bronze Age, while others regard it as the Late Bronze IIA and B, and others still as urn field culture.


    Javier Rey Lanaspa