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Mysteries of Talayotic Mallorca

Not very much is known with certainty about Mallorca in prehistoric times. Many mysteries surround the Talayotic period.

According to the book Tuhfat al-Arib fi al-Radd written in 1420 by Mallorcan-born Anselm Turmeda (also known as Abd-Allah at-Tarjuman, 1355 – 1423), there was evidence of some 120 walled settlements on this island. In the same book the author also claimed that every year, 20,000 drums of olive oil were exported from Mallorca to Alexandria and Cairo. Some historians doubt these written records and ask as to where those 120 settlements could have been situated when today, Mallorca only counts 53 Pueblos (villages) and some 35 more Llogarets (hamlets).

Be that as it may, I know that there are a number of remains of Talayotic walls of settlements of the bronze-age period, here on this island. Three of them can be found alone in the Felanitx area. Es Velar de Son Herevet (see photo) is one such remaining fragment. A 180 m long piece of a once oval wall still stands, well covered by shrubs and untamed vegetation, where once 300 settlers may have lived in a colony occupying land of 10 hectares or more. At the beginning of the 20th century, lots of this ancient pueblo still stood, or so Émile Cartailhac, a French archaeologist claimed. Apparently, he took photographs to prove his findings. Sadly, not much is left today, at least not visible. Perhaps future generations will one day start excavating to shed some light on some of the mysteries of Talayotic Mallorca.

Should you be interested in the archaeology of prehistoric times in Mallorca and some of its mysteries, I would draw your attention to a book by historian, Javier Aramburu Zabala, called Enigmas de la arqueología balear (Editions Documenta Balear, 22 €).

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 8th, 2011. The time was 11:39:26.

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