The monuments in the nomination

The characteristics of the monuments of Talayotic Minorca are their great authenticity and exceptional value: the construction technique s used, their good state of preservation, their integrity and monumentality, and the large numbers still extant – in an area of only 700 km2 there are more than 1,500 sites, two per km2. A selection has been made that encapsulates the island’s prehistory, using chronology, type, functionality and significance in the island context.

 
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Cala Morell, located near the development of the same name on the north coast of Ciutadella is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island. It consists of a large necropolis, with seventeen artificial caves, and a coastal settlement inhabited during the Bronze Age (1400-1000 B.C.).
The settlement is bounded by a wall and had thirteen dwellings. One surprising aspect is its construction technique, which unlike the habitational navetas typically found in the era, was not cyclopean but based on small stones.
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Cova de Es Càrritx is a natural cave set in the Algendar ravine. Today its geological and archaeological condition means it cannot be visited. Only scientists and experts are admitted. Even so, the cave is well known due to the nearby Murada cave. Es Càrritx cave and its contents have been conserved in a good state of conservation thanks to the entry being blocked by the collapse of a large rock from the ravine which concealed it.
This is a natural cave over 200 metres long, in the mouth of which a wall of large stones was built using the cyclopean technique. In the first section a large amount of archaeological material was found that has provided valuable information on the habits and customs of prehistoric Minorcans, particularly as regards death and funerary rituals. Up to seven rooms can be detected in the cave, linked together by corridors and passageways.
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On the cape of Caparrot de Forma near the Es Canutells development is a necropolis consisting of 23 artificial caves or hypogeums.
Of particular interest on the site is a large wall running across the coastal headland along the isthmus. Inside, two circular constructions can be distinguished, and under a pile of stones, a fresh water wall. The wall is included as part of the Talayotic Minorca World Heritage bid.
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The Torre del Ram site in the Cala en Blanes development is a Bronze Age funerary hypogeum. Possibly in use between 1700 and 1400 B.C., it has an elongated, practically rectangular floor plan with access through a funnel-type entrance leading to a tiered corridor.?Inside are some engravings with schematic representations of three ships and other unidentified figures. Some authors have highlighted the importance of these works, which may portray Bronze Age ships.
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At Biniai Nou there are two funerary hypogeums constructed during the Chalcolithic era (2100 B.C.). Both hypogeums are characterised by having one part, the chamber, excavated into the solid rock, their access or corridor built from vertical slabs, and a megalithic façade.
The Biniai Nou site is particularly important because it has provided the absolutely oldest dating of the prehistory of Minorca (2290-2030 B.C.), with some human remains that are the oldest documented to date.
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Na Comerma de sa Garita is a unique type of monument in the panorama of Minorcan archaeology. It consists of a large apse-shaped site, covered by large slabs, that opens onto a large space surrounded by a cyclopean wall, which would originally have been in the open. The monument forms part of the archaeological area of Torre d'en Galmés.
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The Biniac Oriental naveta is a funerary cairn where group burials were carried out between the Early and Late Bronze Ages (1400-1000 B.C.).
The structure of this circular naveta, set on a slope, is half way between a megalithic tomb and the later elongated navetas.
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The Es Tudons naveta is one of the most emblematic talayotic monuments of Minorca due to its excellent state of conservation, and because navetas are a type of funerary construction unique to the island.
Its shape like an upturned ship ("nave" in Spanish) gives it its name of "naveta", and it was built using the cyclopean technique typical of the era, basically assembling medium-sized stones without mortar. Group burials took place inside, and during excavations a hundred individuals were located, accompanied by grave ware and small pots where offerings were deposited during funerary rites.
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The Rafal Rubí archaeological site contains two funerary navetas dated between the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, although materials have been found in the area that date from the fifteenth century A.D., suggesting that they continued to be used until mediaeval times. These are communal tombs of the same type as La Naveta des Tudons, but smaller and much more closely spaced. Both have a perforated slab giving access to the inner chamber, which is divided into two levels.
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The Rafal Rubí archaeological site of consists of two funerary navetas dated between the Middle and Late Bronze Age, although materials have also been found in the area that date from the fifteenth century A.D., suggesting that they continued in use until mediaeval times. Their original function was funerary, so these burial navetas were typical of their era.
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At Cala Morell, a coastal development to the north of Ciutadella, is one of the most spectacular necropoli on the island, formed by a series of fourteen artificial caves. It was in use as a cemetery from the Middle Bronze Age to the second century A.D.?The interiors of some of the bigger hypogeums were designed to imitate the circular houses of the Talayotic era. Some have a single space, others different levels or free-standing columns hewn out of the rock to mark different spaces, or even small front yards. The most spectacular hypogeum of all has classical architectural motifs in relief on its façade, reproducing Etruscan cornices and Carthaginian funerary steles, giving it its unique character.
Apart from the Cala Morell necropolis set on its coastal headland, there was also a pre-Talayotic settlement.
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From prehistory until the Roman Era, Calescoves has aroused the interest of Minorcan settlers, making it an archaeological area of enormous value due to the number and importance of its monuments.
There is a Talayotic era necropolis with over ninety burial caves and hypogeums hewn into the cliffs of the cove, a prehistoric jetty, a coastal establishment enclosed by a prehistoric wall, and a sanctuary dating from the Roman era.
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The Son Mercer de Baix settlement, inhabited between the Early Bronze Age (1400 B.C.) and the Talayotic era (1000 B.C.), is one of the best-known archaeological sites on Minorca.
It consists of several habitational chambered cairns (navetas), strategically located overlooking En Fideu ravine (Ferreries).
One of these navetas is the Es Moro cave, with an apse-shaped floor plan and with part of its roof extant, supported by three stone columns characterised by their small base, widening towards the ceiling.
The remains found among the structures in the settlement may indicate a bronze foundry or workshop, suggesting that the settlement may have specialised in working this metal.
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The Binissafullet talayotic settlement was in use from the tenth century B.C. on, particularly during the fourth to the third centuries B.C., although remains from the Islamic era indicate that it may have been inhabited until the mediaeval era.
Binissafullet preserves the characteristic elements of a talayotic settlement: a talayot, a taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, dwellings, remains of silos etc.
The taula, the site’s central element, had collapsed but was restored and placed upright in 1990.
Different excavations have provided a great deal of information on the use of and activities on the headland. The remains of amphoras from the Carthaginian era containing wine and meat, and the presence of fire in the taula enclosure indicates that rituals were held here in connection with the fertility of animals, crops and people.
All the remains recovered during archaeological excavations are preserved in the Museum of Minorca.
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The Cornia Nou talayotic settlement is set on a rocky sandstone site from which stones have often been removed for construction.
Among the visible structures are a large truncated cone shaped talayot over ten metres high, with an imposing stairway to the upper storey. Other constructions adjoining this talayot have been excavated by archaeologists from the Museum of Minorca, who have uncovered a great hoard of tools used in food preparation. This find tells us of a complex society which even had some degree of hierarchisation.
There is a second smaller talayot, built against a pre-existing wall. Beside it are two large interconnected cisterns excavated into the rock.
There is also a necropolis with five funerary hypogeums.
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Montefí settlement dating from the Talayotic era was in use until the Roman era. In its heyday, it was one of the biggest settlements near the Ciutadella port.
It has the architectural and spatial features of a typical settlement of the era, closely linked to livestock breeding and farming.
Montefí settlement is unusual in not having a taula enclosure, although its presence cannot be ruled out, given the destruction this settlement has suffered down the ages. It contains the typical monuments of a talayotic settlement: talayots constructed with the cyclopean technique, necropolis with hypogeums, natural caves, storage silos, tank for collecting water, etc.
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Sa Cudia Cremada is a Talayotic era settlement with three talayots, a taula enclosure, a hypogeum or artificial cave with six columns, a well and remains of a cyclopean wall, typical of the era.The rest of the taula enclosure lies between two of the talayots, both circular in shape. One still has its ground floor portal leading to an inner room, part of which has collapsed.
The origin of the prehistoric settlement and village of sa Torreta probably dates from the Early Bronze Age (1,600 B.C.). Occupied until Roman Conquest, it was re-settled in the mediaeval Islamic era.
Only the talayot, taula enclosure and several houses have survived.
Archaeological excavations carried out have uncovered the base of a funerary naveta, built using the cyclopean technique, and the remains of talayotic houses.
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The Sant Augustí talayotic settlement in the Es Migjorn Gran district is one of the most monumental on the island. It preserves one of the wonders of Minorcan archaeology: one of its talayots still has its original wild olive wood beams, in a good state of conservation.The Sant Augustí settlement consists of two talayots, a settlement of up to eight talayotic houses and seven constructions with elements similar to taula enclosures, although their complete structure has not survived.
From the material found in the settlement it is known to have been inhabited until the Islamic era (tenth - twelfth century A.D.).
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The archaeological area of Talatí de Dalt is one of the most emblematic on the island, due to both its good state of conservation and its unusual taula.It consists of a talayotic settlement with its necropolis of artificial caves. It has preserved some important monuments and structures like caves (where burials and funerary rites were held), the taula sanctuary, sections of wall, talayotic houses, and several chambers with columns and stone roofs. This is a medium-sized settlement, which in its heyday accommodated nearly a hundred people. Their community must have consisted of livestock breeders and farmers, to judge from the pottery and animal remains found. Its use continued until the Muslim era.
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This is one of the largest and most spectacular prehistoric settlements in Minorca. The settlement's high point occurred during the Carthaginian commercial expansion, but it was in use until the mediaeval era.
It consists of two talayots, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, some caves excavated into the subsoil and other remnants of buildings in the surrounding area.
The taula and its area are the most spectacular remains of this settlement. This is a building for worship, in the form of a horseshoe with side chapels. The taula itself consists of two large blocks of stone, one vertical and the other horizontal, magnificently crafted. During various digs held in this area, a figure of a bronze bull and other objects of worship were found near a stone altar, today on display in the Museum of Minorca.

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The talayotic settlement of Torre d'en Galmés, extending over six hectares, the biggest in Minorca and one of the biggest in the Balearic Islands. The settlement is highly monumental and preserves a great diversity of constructions of a remarkable quality.
It is set on a hill, from which there is a perfect panoramic view over most of the south coast of Minorca. This privileged setting added to the three talayots lead specialists to think that Torre d'en Galmés exercised some degree of supremacy over the rest of the settlements on the island.
It was occupied during the Early Bronze Age, around 1,600 B.C., and judging from the remains found, remained so until the mediaeval era. In its heyday, from 1,300 B.C. until the Roman Era, some 900 persons must have lived there.
The Torre d'en Galmés site consists of a large number of constructions, among them its three talayots, numerous circular talayotic houses, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, a water collection system and up to four hypogeums than would originally have had a funerary function.
The area now forms part of a museum and has a an interpretation centre that is well worth calling in on before your visit.
The Torrellafuda settlement dates from the Talayotic era and was inhabited until Islamic times, as indicated by the archaeological remains found. The settlement, set in a holm oak wood, consists of a single large talayot, a taula enclosure, several houses and a necropolis of four hypogeums or artificial caves. There are other structures including a cistern from the Roman or Mediaeval era and sections of a cyclopean-type wall.
In one of the hypogeums a batch of lead sling balls from the Roman era was found.
The Torretrencada talayotic settlement in the municipality of Ciutadella is particularly well known for its taula, one of the most spectacular on the island. The settlement dates from the Talayotic era and was inhabited until the Middle Ages, as indicated by pottery remains found on the surface.
Apart from the imposing taula, with a pilaster still in evidence at the back, the settlement consists of a talayot, the remains of a perimeter wall, foundations of what may have been houses and several hypogeums.
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.
Galliner de Madona is a semi-circular hypostyle hall with flat façade, set against the rock on one side and reached by a door with monolithic lintels.
Visible inside are five columns and nine pilasters of Mediterranean type, i.e. with narrow base widening towards the roof.
Some remains on top of the slab roof suggest that there may have been an upper storey.
The site at So na Caçana is thought to be a series of sanctuaries. The architectural type of the sites documented here has convinced researchers of this possibility. It may therefore be a religious centre linked to the settlements in this part of the island.
There is also a necropolis with two natural caves adapted by man, and three hypogeums.
Built in the Middle Bronze Age it was occupied until Roman times, as archaeological remains found in some of its monuments show.
The Son Olivaret site is located within the military fort of the same name. This is a proto-naveta or funerary construction, built around 1,600 B.C. (between the Early and Middle Bronze Ages), and is practically circular.
Archaeological excavations to date have identified an interesting funerary set of human remains, ceramics and bone objects.
Ses Roques Llises is a megalithic tomb built around 2000 B.C., between the Late Chalcolithic and the early Bronze Age. It forms part of a large site around the archaeological complex of Torre d'en Galmés.?The tomb preserves a rectangular chamber formed by six slabs. Access is by a corridor leading to the central chamber through a circular opening in the slabs of the façade. The whole chamber would originally have been covered by stone and earth tumulus that gave it a hemispherical appearance. Only the plinth of the tumulus has been preserved.
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The Torelló settlement of is one of the biggest settlements in Maó, although it is hard to appreciate its scale since it was badly damaged by farming and construction works on the northern extension of the airport.
Remains include two talayots, remains of a talayotic house and a water collection system, although in the neighbouring grounds further remains of structures have been documented which indicate the possible extent of this settlement. Foundations of houses and a couple of hypogeums have been found.
One of the main interests of the site is undoubtedly the great Torelló talayot, the most spectacular on the island for its monumental scale. One special feature of the talayot is that it conserves a portal with lintels in the upper part of the monument, leading to a circular chamber.
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The Trebalúger settlement consists of a monument consisting of a tall tower. Elliptical in shape it is set on a rocky outcrop. Excavation of its interior revealed a Middle - Late Bronze Age house.
The Torrellisar talayotic settlement is in the municipal area of Alaior. Different structures can be distinguished, among them the taula enclosure and two talayots. Both monuments have been altered by modern intervention.
 
 
 
Consell Insular de Menorca Govern Illes Balears
MINORCA TALAYOTIC - World Heritage Nomination
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