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The Islamic District of Manqūr


During the middle of the 9th century, Mallorca had agreed a pact of non-agression with the Islamic leaders of al-Andaluz in the southern part of mainland Spain. However, Mallorca appears to have violated this agreement by looting merchant ships that passed its shores. As a consequence, Mallorca was conquered in 902 by the Emir of Córdoba and the island was brought under his influence. From now on and until 1230 the island was called Mayurka.

At some stage over the next 100 years, Mayurka was divided into 12 ‘juz (districts) the largest of which was Manqûr (todays Manacor). To be precise, it was the district that was called Manqûr, whereas the actual city went by the name of Cariat Açoch.

It is my understanding that outside of Palma, at that time called Madina Mayurka, the district of Manqûr (i. e. Manacor) was the most important Islamic settlement on the island of Mallorca, with a total of 173 alquerias and rafals (farmsteads and rural estates).

Small wonder then that we now hear that there were some important finds discovered and excavated over the last few weeks in the city of Manacor, all dating from the Islamic period and the 13th century.

Some tubes had to be laid for telecomunications and city streets had to be dug up. Whilst moving the earth and digging trenches a total of 17 silos and pozos were discovered (underground storage spaces and wells), holding a variety of shards of broken ceramic, bones, animal teeth and other bits and pieces. The treasures were found mainly in the area of the Plaça de les Verdures (see photo) and in Carrer Jaume Domenge.

For some strange reason the excavated areas were hastily filled in again, covered and paved to allow 21st century life to go on unblemished. The found bits and pieces are now in the custody of the Museu d’Història de Manacor for further study and analysis.

The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 11th, 2009. The time was 12:57:59.

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