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Trepucó is one of the largest talayotic settlements on Minorca, covering nearly 5,000 square metres, and originally a walled site. Only a small part of the settlement has survived: some sections of the perimeter wall, two square towers, two talayots, the taula enclosure and the remains of some dwellings.
The dwellings are perfectly visible in the western part of the settlement thanks to past excavations, and consist of polylobed houses with central courtyard and several surrounding rooms.
Its destruction and hurried abandonment during the Second Punic War means that excavation revealed some admirably conserved domestic items, now displayed in the Museum of Minorca.
The biggest talayot and the taula are set in the centre of a star-shaped dry stone fort built in the eighteenth century by Spanish troops besieging the Castle of Sant Felipe, in British hands.

Trepucó talayotic settlement

Trepucó is one of the largest talayotic settlements on Minorca, covering nearly 5,000 square metres, and originally a walled site. Only a small part of the settlement has survived: some sections of the perimeter wall, two square towers, two talayots, the taula enclosure and the remains of some dwellings.
The dwellings are perfectly visible in the western part of the settlement thanks to past excavations, and consist of polylobed houses with central courtyard and several surrounding rooms.
Its destruction and hurried abandonment during the Second Punic War means that excavation revealed some admirably conserved domestic items, now displayed in the Museum of Minorca.
The biggest talayot and the taula are set in the centre of a star-shaped dry stone fort built in the eighteenth century by Spanish troops besieging the Castle of Sant Felipe, in British hands.



 
Detailed description

Trepucó is a sizeable archaeological site, taking in an area of 4.80 hectares between Maó and Es Castell, and consists of a talayotic settlement and its necropolis with some burial caves.

The settlement had a perimeter wall, some sections of which are preserved, and was constructed over existing buildings. There are two square towers in the western sector.

Inside it were four talayots, only two of which are preserved:

1. This is the better conserved of the two and occupies the centre of the star-shaped eighteenth-century fort. It has a circular floor plan and a truncated cone shaped profile. In the southern sector it had a door with polylithic pillars. In the upper part of the interior is a construction with apsidal floor plan and a central column. It was reinforced in the modern era with a wall to the north east to prevent its collapse.

2. The second talayot is built to the north of the settlement, encroaching on the Bintalfa site. It has an irregular floor plan and a door to the east closed off since the Classical era. Its inner structure may indicate a circular chamber with a corridor angled upwards to reach the upper section.

The taula enclosure to the south of the large talayot, has a horseshoe floor plan, a concave façade and walls with double face. Inside there are pilasters embedded in the walls and a rectangular-section central column and inverted truncated cone shaped capital. The lower part of the “T” was reinforced with a concrete block during excavations led by M. Murray in the nineteen-thirties, as was the base of the pilasters, both to ensure stability.

Murray’s excavation took place in 1932, with a team from Cambridge University. His research documented prehistoric pottery from the Early, Middle and Late Bronze Eras, pottery from Republican Rome and Iberian pieces. There was a large deposit of ash on the right in front of the entrance, a normal feature of these buildings.

In 2010 the remains to the south of the taula enclosure were excavated, overlapping Murray’s dig. This new excavation documented several structures:

- Structural remains of 3 talayotic houses, probably rooms, were found, along with objects of pottery, metal and bone.

- A trabeated door of a redundant building moved to make way for the construction of the taula enclosure, which Murray had documented as a passageway, was identified. The material documented in this building and the chronology provided by C14 dating places it at around the end of the second millennium B.C. (1300-1000 B.C.).

Other remains of constructions were already known before this dig:

1. In 1932 M. Murray himself had excavated to the west of the taula enclosure, documenting the remains of a house, of irregular floor plan, a west-facing access and a courtyard with cavity in the northern sector to collect water. ?

2. Along the path leading to the settlement a section of the wall of another house can be seen, built over rocks.

3. There is a third house, to the east of Talayot 2 (on the north west of the settlement). Conforming to the constructions around it, it was accessed from the east and organised around a central courtyard, with a cavity with channelling for collecting water. This was excavated by Ll. Plantalamor, and various rooms and functions were identified: a warehouse, a stable, a hearth and a kitchen in use during the third century B.C. The destruction of this house and another on the settlement is documented as coinciding with the Second Punic War. It was later reformed adding a Roman pavement of opus signinum (mosaic).

4. Located next to House 3 but not totally visible. It has one rectangular room reached from the courtyard and was also excavated by Ll. Platalamor. It suffered the same destruction in the third century B.C. but was then reused up to approximately 70 A.D.

5. Adjoining the south-eastern corner of Talayot 2. The western side was remodelled when the perimeter wall was built. It was partly roofed, the roof supported by polylithic columns. A fifth-fourth century B.C. rubbish heap has been documented, indicating that the house’s refurbishment and construction of the wall must have happened before that era.

On the path between the settlement and Gracia hermitage is a necropolis in which two caves with surrounding cyclopean wall have been identified. They do not contain any sediments, but the materials preserved in the Museum of Minorca (Iberian vessel, bone plug with decoration of concentric circles and some pottery vessels) may have come from the caves, excavated by Martínez Santa-Olalla.

Classification:
Talayotic settlement.

Municipality:
Maó.

Chronological period:
Early Bronze Age - Late Bronze Age - Talayotic - Iron - Carthaginian - Roman - Mediaeval - Islamic.?

Objects found:
- Typical Mediterranean species: pig, sheep, goats and cows. - Talayotic, Carthaginian, Ibizan, Roman, Iberian and Islamic pottery.
- Mills have been documented in the houses.
- Sundry bronze objects.
- Objects like handles carved out of bone.
- Sundry objects like sickles and iron hooks.
- Lead sling balls from the Roman era.

Constructions:
- Hypogeum.
?- Taula enclosure.
- Talayot.
- House.

 
Archaeological interventions

The first dig was led by M. Murray in 1931, when he excavated the taula enclosure and nearby structures. Some decades later, in 1972, M. Fernández Miranda directed works of consolidation on the taula site. In 1979 and 1986 respectively, Ll. Plantalamor excavated the area next to the north-eastern talayot and the “Tanques Hernández” area nearby. The most recent dig was led by E. Sintes and F. Isbert in 2010, with the re-excavation and consolidation of the structures adjoining the taula enclosure excavated by Murray.

 
Legal protections

BIC no. of the Island Council of Minorca: 000940.
BIC no. of the Balearic Islands Government: 7032-2-2-55-2957.
BIC no. of the Ministry of Culture: R-I-55-0000848.
Decree no. 2563/1966, of 10 September: 1948-1951.
Declared Historic-Artistic monument by decree of 3 June 1931.

 
Bibliography

CAMERON, J. Report on the human bones excavated by Dr. M. A. Murray in Minorca in 1931. CNA X. 1932.
CARTAILHAC, E. Los monumentos primitivos de las Islas Baleares. 1892. Traducción José J. de Olañeta. 1991.
CASTRILLO VILLA, M. Les ceràmiques de vernís negre del pobalt talaiòtic de Trepucó Maó, Menorca).
Universitat de les Illes Balears. Mayurqa 30. 2005.
CHAMBERLAIN, F. The Balearics and their peoples. John Lane The Bodley Head LTD. 1927.
FERNÁNDEZ MIRANDA, M. Geografia e Historia de Menorca. J. Mascaró Pasarius. Geografia e Historia III. 1982.
HABSBURG, L.S. Die Insel Minorca. 1891. Traducción de 1980. SA NOSTRA.
HERNÁNDEZ MORA, J. Menorca prehistórica. Notas descriptivas. Ateneu de Maó. Revista de Menorca. 1949.
HERNÁNDEZ SANZ, F. Noticias generales sobre los monumentos megalíticos de la isla de Menorca. Reseña detallada de los existentes en el predio de Telaty de dalt. Ateneu de Maó. Revista de Menorca. 1899.
MARTÍNEZ SANTA-OLALLA, J. Elementos para un estudio de la cultura de los talayots en Menorca. S.Aguirre. AMSEAEP XIV. 1935.
MARTORELL i PEÑA, J. Apuntes arqueológicos de D. Francisco Martorell i Peña. (ordenados por Salvador Sanpere y Miquel). Imprenta y Librería de Vicente Dorca. 1879.
MASCARÓ PASARIUS,J. Las taulas. ACIEFP IV. 1954.
MASCARÓ PASARIUS, J. Prehistoria de las Baleares. Gráficas Miramar, 1968.
MASCARÓ PASARIUS, J. Las taulas. Testimonio de la fe religiosa y de la capacidad creadora de los paleomenorquines. Ateneu de Maó. Revista de Menorca. 1968.
MURRAY, M. A Cambrige excavations in Minorca. Trapucó. Part I. B. Quaritch.1932.
MURRAY, M. A. Cambrige excavations in Minorca. Trapucó. Part II. B. Quaritch. Universidad de Zaragoza. 1932.
MURRAY, M. A. Cambridge. Excavaciones en Menorca. Trapucó. Primera parte. Traducción de J.Flaquer i Fàbregues. Ateneu de Maó. Revista de Menorca. 1933.?NICOLÁS MASCARÓ, J.C. de. Geografia e Historia de Menorca. J. Mascaró Pasarius. Geografia e Historia IV. 1983.
NICOLÁS MASCARÓ, J.C. de; CONDE BERDÓS, M J. La ceràmica ibèrica pintada a les Illes Balears i Pitiüses. Institut Menorquí d’Estudis. Recerca 3. 1993.
ORFILA, M.; SINTES, G. Estudio preliminar sobre la perduración del habitat en los conjuntos talayóticos menorquines. Universitat de les Illes Balears. Mayurqa 20. 1980.
PLANTALAMOR MASSANET, Ll. Bases para el estudio de la cerámica talayótica de habitación menorquina. EPHMGRB.1982.
PLANTALAMOR, Ll.; RITA, M.C. Guia arqueològica del poblat talaiòtic de Trepucó. Consell Insular de Menorca.1986.
PLANTALAMOR, Ll. L’arquitectura prehistòrica i protohistòrica de Menorca i el seu marc cultural. Conselleria d’Educació i Cultura del Govern Balear. Treballs del Mme 12. 1991.
PLANTALAMOR MASSANET, Ll. Ubicació topogràfica de les taules i els santuaris menorquins. El seu significat econòmic i social. IME. Meloussa 4. 1997.
PLANTALAMOR, Ll.; VAN STRYDONCK, M. La cronologia de la Prehistòria de Menorca (Noves datacions C14). Conselleria d’Educació i Cultura del Govern Balear. Treballs del Mme 20. 1997.
PLANTALAMOR MASSANET, L. Datos arqueológicos sobre Trepucó y Mahón durante la II Guerra Púnica. Universidad de Cádiz. 2000.
PLANTALAMOR MASSANET, Ll. Algunes formatgeres del talaiòtic final al Museu de Menorca. Universitat de les Illes Balears. Mayurqa 30. 2005.
RAMIS I RAMIS, J. Antigüedades célticas de la Isla de Menorca desde los tiempos primitivos más remotos hasta el siglo IV de la era Cristiana. Pedro Antonio Serra. 1818.
SERRA BELABRE , M. Ll. El talayot y la taula de Trepucó. Universidad de Zaragoza. CNA X. 1967.
SERRA BELABRE, M.Ll. Grabados rupestres de Trepucó. Institución "Fernando el Católico"-CSIC. Caesaraugusta 29-30. 1967.
SINTES, E.; ISBERT. F. El poblado talayótico de Trepucó (Maó, Menorca): pasado y presente de una misma investigación. Ministerio de Cultura. IyT 6. 2011.
VENY, C. Corpus de las inscripciones baleáricas hasta la dominación árabe. C.S.I.C.-Delegación de Roma. BEEHAR 15. 1965.

 
Practical information

Access:
Access by the Trepucó rural path which runs past the Hermitage of the Virgin of Gracia and Maó cemetery. Follow the signs to reach the settlement. Continue for approximately 1.5 km along the path. Alternatively, by taking the Maó - Sant Lluis road, or from Es Castellet.
Signed from the road.
Open to the general public.

Parking:
Yes.
Capacity for 10 cars and 1 microbus.

Visits:
Free access throughout the day.
Information panels on site.

Ownership and management:
Owned by the Island Council of Minorca and the Town Council of Maó and managed by the Destí Minorca Foundation.

 

 
 
 
Consell Insular de Menorca Govern Illes Balears
MINORCA TALAYOTIC - World Heritage Nomination
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