The Guardian reports on a crisis for Spanish farmers and water utilities that has turned into a boon for archaeologists – and tourists – as plummeting reservoir levels reveal an 11th-century church and a megalith complex that was built in 5000 BCE:
After a prolonged dry spell, Spain’s reservoirs – which supply water for cities and farms – are at just under 36% capacity, according to environment ministry figures for August.
Dubbed the “Spanish Stonehenge”, the circle of dozens of megalithic stones was discovered by archaeologists in 1926, but the area was flooded in 1963 when the reservoir was built.
The stones are also attracting tourists, who reach the islet on boats operated by several private firms. Officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the site is believed to date back to 5000BC.
“People leave delighted,” said Ruben Argenta, who owns a firm offering guided tours of the stones.
In the north-eastern region of Catalonia, the receding waters have exposed the ruins of an 11th-century church in the usually submerged village of Sant Roma de Sau, which was flooded in the 1960s when a dam was built nearby.
Two tourists on a canoe paddled through an arch of the church, which is fenced off to prevent people from getting too close due to the risk the ruins could collapse.
“Normally, you can only see the bell tower,” said Sergi Riera, who came to see “something that has not been visible for years”.