About 4 kilometres from Artajona
, on a small hill where there was a Bronze Age settlement, are the "Portillo de Enériz" and "Mina de Farangotea" dolmens, one of the most important examples of megalithic architecture in Navarre
, which give us the opportunity of making a journey to Prehistory.
Both are tombs built of large stones that confirm that Artajona has been populated for thousands of years
. They are well signposted along a track that starts at the rear of the cemetery of Artajona, although you can also reach them by car via the "Portillo de Enériz"
which is around 800 metres from the "Mina de Farangotea" dolmen
The dolmens of Artajona are a singular example of megalithic culture in Navarre. Although there are several examples in the mountains in the north (which are smaller) these dolmens are the most southerly in the region. They are on a small hill where there was a Bronze Age settlement, and their large size bears a certain similarity to those found in La Rioja, Araba/Álava and the North of Castile.
These are 'corridor' type dolmens consisting of stones of large size (megaliths) that were found and dug up in the 1950s. They have a separation slab and a double chamber, and are located on hillocks of 20 metres diameter by 2.5 metres high.
Specifically, "El Portillo de Enériz" is a megalith in which two parts can be distinguished: the tomb, consisting of nine vertically arranged large slabs, and the corridor itself of six smaller slabs. The "Mina de Farangortea" dolmen has the same structure but is smaller in size; the central part of the slab at the rear is perforated to enable access inside. Neither dolmen had a 'roof' and they were usually covered with branches and earth. Among the objects found around the dolmens are collar beads, arrowheads, copper punches, buttons, ceramics and axes. These specimens are now on display in the Museum of Navarre.
To reach the dolmens, take the track that starts behind the cemetery of Artajona, on the north side of the town, although you can also take the road to Tafalla. A signpost indicates that the Artajona dolmens are 3.6 kilometres down a road, and they can reached by car.
After parking in an area with information panels and wooden benches, walk the 40 metres to the "Portillo de Enériz" dolmen. The "Mina de Farangortea" dolmen is 850 metres further along a well-signposted track. Entry is free, but we recommend taking bottled water because there are no fountains in the area.
A little further north, on a high spot that is quite difficult to reach (called 'Gazteluzar') lie the remains of an Iron Age deposit called 'El Dorre'. It was apparently built by an advanced Indo-European race that lived in well-built houses.
Starting point: Aparcamiento de los dólmenes, a 3,6 km del Cerco de Artajona
End point: Aparcamiento de los dólmenes
Type of route: Earth, Gravel