Jentilarri: the home of the “jentilak”

The megalithic culture, that is, the civilizations whose preserved remains consist of "big stones" (dolmen) arranged in a studied way, are a magnificent way to see how our ancestors lived in Prehistory more than 6,000 years ago.

From the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, periods of the Stone Age, megalithic culture developed throughout the world, although the term locates the stage between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area of ​​Europe.

The first thing that usually comes to the traveler's mind when seeing these huge prehistoric monuments is, but how could they have been built without modern technical advances? The question in itself already provides a certain approach to a culture so far removed from ours, because it offers us a new dimension of human beings: they thought, planned, structured, communicated, all in order to erect these monuments.

Now, why were they built, with the effort and dedication that it had to entail? It is not clear either that they were stable groups in a territory, which is why it adds even more mystery to the matter.

Some scholars agree on the sepulchral function of the monument, a custom that reveals the group's religious consciousness and belief in the afterlife, as well as the sentimental memory of the person who left them, not very different from current forms. On the other hand, other researchers point to a threatening-type function, in which these constructions would reveal the territory's belonging to a certain group, reinforcing identity (another unexpected factor) in front of others.

Be that as it may, many of these testimonies of prehistoric architecture have remained and many of them are in a very good state of conservation.

The Jentilarri dolmen, located in the Uidui area of ​​the Aralar Natural Park, which belongs to Guipúzcoa, is a gallery tomb with a burial mound 15 m in diameter and 1 m high. It has a 6.50 m long chamber.

It was discovered in 1879 and excavated in 1917, providing abundant material including leafy tips and 11 ceramic fragments and human remains of at least 27 individuals. It has recently been rebuilt by some neighbors.

The Jentilarri dolmen, the best preserved in the area, is part of the Aralar dolmens, an important megalithic station located in the Aralar Natural Park, in an environment full of oaks, beeches and large areas of pasture shared by Guipúzcoa and Navarra .