Mallorca’s Talayots by Alison

The Christmas festivities of Majorca do extend for quite a few days, I admit I am usually itching to return to work!! so during this time I took  the opportunity to explore the Island, an adventure taken with my grand daughter Jasmine and grandson Harley, supported by Candace my daughter who packed the picnic and did the driving.  Small scale clambering around the rocky hillside which to the kids  was huge fun and a big adventure, appearing more like a mountain climb, I wore sensible boots….which to anyone that knows me is an adventure in itself.
                                                                               mallorca's talayots
Pleasantly surprised I have ventured twice in less than two weeks,and without pressure or a bar in sight,. the views here in Majorca are stunning, the weather has been like spring this winter and a good deal of fun has been had with the kids. Living here we can often take a lot for granted and not make the most of this beautiful Island. One of the adventures took us to two monuments of the Talaiotic period, my interest in these compared with my memories of Stone Henge, ok I admit very small by comparison but the feeling of history and religious intent behind the buildings were the same, to me. How do they build these things in the first place without mechanical help considering they are donkeys years old and very heavy??
                                                                                 mallorca's talayots
Having researched the Talaiotic period since I still have a few more historic sights to get round on the Island to continue my adventures and expand my knowledge with the kids of course as an excuse of being caught climbing and having child like fun. Worth a visit any time of the year. I have added some Encylopaedia info to support the history, but the photos are from our fun day.
mallorca's talayots

                                     mallorca's talayots

mallorca's talayots

mallorca's talayots

The Talaiotic Period in Majorca

Central column and the slabs of the roof of a talaiot in Majorca.

The first great monuments on Majorca from this period are the Layered Tumuli (Túmulos Escalonados), which had a funerary purpose. The date of their construction dates from the end of the second millennium BC to the beginnings of the first millennium BC, and many of the Tumuli are associated with hypogea from the Bronze Age. The society of this era is called “Proto-Talaiotic,” since many features of the subsequent Talaiotic society begin to appear at this time. These features include the clustering of the population into towns. It has been confirmed that in some of these Talaiotic towns naviform structures were dismantled in order to use the building material to build ordinary dwellings.
At the beginning of the first millennium BC, talaiots began to proliferate on Majorca, either appearing in an isolated fashion as a territorial boundary stone, or in towns, but mostly grouped together in ceremonial centers. In Majorca, these ceremonial centers were as abundant as the towns themselves. Some of them consisted of small groups of stone structures (talaiots, tumuli), scattered across the island, and frequently serving as boundary stones between the towns. Some of these ceremonial centers consisted of a line of up to seven stone structures across a distance of more than half a kilometer. The abundance of these centers serves as evidence of their importance: most likely they were where frequent disputes were resolved, and where various festivities were celebrated. The centers also served as a seasonal and economic calendar (economic activities such as sowing, harvests, hunting), in which the young of various towns could meet (thus guaranteeing sexual outbreeding!!).

Interior of Talaiotic hypogeum of Majorca, with a column excavated from the rock.

Sanctuaries also existed on the island, recognizable because their two rear corners are rounded. Sanctuaries situated within the towns were small, and their interiors had only a single column, which was more or less centered. The sanctuaries in the countryside were much bigger (10–15 m.) and tended to have many pairs of columns.
The funerary monuments of Majorca were varied, a characteristic similar to the previous age: burials were made in natural caves and in hypogea. The Talaiotic hypogea were much bigger than those from the Bronze Age, sometimes with column excavated from the surrounding rock, and the enlargement of these columns provided a reason for enlarging the hypogea themselves. A large cemetery was also built, the Necropolis of Son Real, unique to Majorca and Menorca. The Necropolis served as a cemetery in which the tombs were similar to small talaiots, and were either circular or square-shaped. Small “navetas” can also be found in the Necropolis. Despite the Talaiotic preference for burials to occur in hypogea, during the time of the Talaiotic Culture a novelty was introduced: the burial of a body with lime.
Taken from Wikipedia information
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