Pinares de Doñana

Natural areas

More than three hundred natural sites and nature reserves

Cerro del Riscal Rock Carvings


The town of El Madroño is located on the foothills of the Sierra de Aracena, a mountain environment with medium-altitude hills and gentle slopes, through which small seasonal streams meander. There are rocky outcrops and crags of different sizes on top of the hills. A sudden change in temperature causes cracks and fissures in the rocks.

This happens in 368-metre high Cerro del Riscal, located 1.5 km from the urban core. On the summit, a cluster of large rocks is encircled by smaller rocks that have broken off them. This creates hollows and small caves that were likely used as shelter in prehistoric times. Petroglyphs have been found on some of these rocks, primarily concentric circles engraved on the rock surface. These carvings are believed to date back to the Middle Bronze period. Although most carvings are distributed in clusters throughout the rock, there are also a few isolated ones. The motifs are diverse, with a predominance of simple or spiral circles and others shaped like a shield. These are the first petroglyphs of this kind discovered in the province of Seville.

Cerro del Riscal and its surroundings were devastated by a large fire in 2004. Before the fire, the area had a typical Mediterranean landscape, with pastureland, holm oak and wild olive meadows and scrubland, as well as areas covered with pine and eucalyptus. At present, the area has been repopulated with native species such as holm oak, cork oak and typical scrub species.

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