The declaration of the Antequera dolmens as World Heritage three years ago has aroused significant public interest in this set of megalithic monuments headed by the grandiose lintel construction of Menga, the undisputed jewel of this enclave whose historical burden far exceeds what is visible to the naked eye.
Such an extreme is reflected, for example, in the study published in 2018 with the title 'Reference point of the past in the megalithic landscape of Antequera: A multidisciplinary approach to the rock art of the Matacabras shelter', Which addresses the relationship between the Menga dolmen and the Peña de los Enamorados, towards which the axis of said prehistoric construction is oriented.
And it is that the authors of such work recall in their text that "recent research suggests" that the Antequera dolmens had an "exceptionally long" use during "late Prehistory, the Iron Age, Antiquity, the Middle Ages and even Modern History", specifying that the Megalith of Menga "It was repeatedly used as a burial place" between the fourth and eleventh centuries of the current era and later as a "fold, dwelling or perhaps for the supply of water" thanks to the well discovered inside.
It is precisely in this context that a striking 2016 investigation titled ‘9 mm projectiles found in the atrium of the Menga dolmen. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War?', Work published in the Journal of Prehistory of Andalusia, published by the Autonomous Administration of said region.
This study, prepared by researchers from the University of Seville Leonardo García Sanjuán, Mark Hunt and Coronada Mora; Ángel Rodríguez Larrarte from the Aranzadi Science Society and Gonzalo Aranda from the University of Granada, revolves around 23 bullets discovered in 1991 in the atrium of the aforementioned megalithic construction, within the framework of archaeological excavations then promoted by the University of Malaga .
The "strange context" of the projectiles
Although the authors of this work admit the Implicit "limitations" in the absence of "documentation on the spatial distribution of the projectiles that makes it possible to assess their dispersion pattern" or in lack of bullet casings, the truth is that thanks to the "morphological and technological characterization" of the artifacts, their "ballistic and forensic assessment" and historical data, it has been possible formulate a theory about the presence of "20th century ammunition in a completely strange architectural and spatial context" for such materials.
According to the results of this study, the 23 projectiles correspond to a caliber of 9 millimeters Long or “9 mm Parabellum (…) fired with a professionally suitable weapon for this purpose, since they present longitudinal marks that indicate that they were propelled through a rifled barrel”, since the ammunition of said caliber was “very common in the Spanish Civil War, being used in short weapons such as the Astra-M400, Astra Condor, Campo Giro-M1910 and Campo Giro-M1912 pistols and long weapons such as the Destroyer carbine or the Labora submachine gun ”.
Based on this premise, the authors of this study rely on the previous research of a member of the Department of Modern History of the University of Malaga Miguel Angel Melero Vargas, about him development of the Civil War in said province and the different "Violence" perpetrated in Antequera from the military rebellion of July 1936.
The «violence» of the Civil War in Antequera
“In the first place, we must consider the violence exercised from the Republican side, which was noted between July 19 and August 8, 1936. On the other hand, there is the repressive violence exercised from the rebel side from the occupation of Antequera by the rebel troops on August 12, 1936 ", this study specifies thanks to the inquiries of Melero Vargas, according to which"the repression exerted by the rebels in Antequera it would have taken place inside or outside the bullring, where dozens of people were murdered ", while" various documented testimonies coincide in pointing out that the summary executions carried out by members of the Republican side occurred in the vicinity of the cemetery, where the Menga and Viera dolmens are found”.
In addition, the testimony of the former mayor of Antequera at the time of the coup d'état of 1936 weighs in on this investigation, Antonio Garcia Prieto (PSOE), who as recalled in this work “declared during his trial by a Francoist court that A prominent member of the Antequera War Committee had personally handed him one of the many short weapons with which the militiamen had made themselves, specifically a Mauser-type 9 mm Largo pistol ”. García Prieto, by the way, was finally shot in 1940 at the hands of the Franco regime.
Thus, as a result of the technological, ballistic and forensic study of these projectiles and "the data obtained by the historian Melero Vargas from oral accounts and archival information", the authors of this research consider that such projectiles would be in principle connected with "the murders carried out in the days after the military uprising by militia members of the parties and unions that supported the Republic”.
Europa Press journalist, collaborator of "Sevillanos de Guardia" in Onda Cero Radio and collaborator writer in MRN Aljarafe.