Verracos (animal figures sculptured in stone) are to be found in the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara Global Geopark of the UNESCO in the form of the noteworthy examples which can be observed in the villages of Villar del Pedroso, Valdelacasa de Tajo, and Peraleda de San Román. These exceptional cultural and archaeological manifestations of the Vetton people are to be found above all between the Tajo and Duero rivers. They are from the period between the 4th century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. What were they used for or what was their meaning? The mystery has still not been resolved.

We are here concerned with zoomorphic structures which are traditionally known as verracos or breeding pigs. Despite this, on occasions they appear to represent bulls (the famous ‘Toros de Guisando’ are perhaps the best known) or wild boar. Their features are highly simplified and schematic, always representing a male animal standing on a base and almost always sculpted in granite. These sculptures were executed by the Vettones and their meaning is unknown, although there are several theories. They may be religious monuments to protect pastures and symbolise their safeguarding by the gods.

Another likely interpretation is that these stone animals acted as markers to indicate the most important grazing lands and drovers’ roads. It should be taken into account that for these peoples of the Iron Age stockbreeding was of paramount importance.

Although nowadays we can only contemplate their powerful images in stone, it is thought that at the time they may have been polychromatic and some of them may have had horns of other material as is suggested by certain hollows on their surface. With the advent of Roman culture the tradition of raising these sculptures became more and more infrequent until they disappeared completely in about the 2nd century A.D. Roman culture gave other connotations to these sculptures, executing them above all for funeral purposes.

In the built-up area of Villar del Pedroso we can find three of these verracos, one of which is known as ‘Toro mocho’ (Polled bull). For a long time it lay half-buried on its side under a holm oak in the dehesa of La Oliva until it was discovered and transferred to the Calle de las Eras Chicas. Its legs are sculpted on a base in the rock itself and are in a curious position which suggests a threatening attitude. As its hoofs and tail can be inferred it appears to be a bovid.

Not far away in a park alongside the CC 20.2 road stands another verraco. This example used to be part of a construction in the village until it was rescued and placed in its current location. It has a Latin inscription and several pans, and despite its crude shape suggests the morphological characteristics of the male animal.

Owing to its large head and its prominent snout, the verraco which be seen in Valdelacasa de Tajo appears to be a wild boar. On one of its sides several pans can be seen; they may have been used in ancient rites. It is currently placed on granite supports as the original base has been lost. It was donated by its private owners and is today one of the points of reference of the village. In the area other verracos have been found such as that of Peraleda de San Román.