THE MEGALITHIC CULTURE OF MALLORCA
Mallorca is littered with "talaiots" and "navetas". These structures of a prehistoric megalithic culture are dated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old. Their origin is still a mystery today. No one knows exactly who the people were who built them and what purpose they served. By the time the Carthaginians, and later the Romans, came to the Balearic Islands, the Talaiot builders had long since disappeared. And although their buildings were still in use as dwellings, no one knew anything about their origins. So local legends were formed that the buildings made of the gigantic stones were the work of giants.
Talaiotsare round buildings (from Arabic Atalaia = watchtower) made of relatively large, rough stones. Settlements of other, mostly rectangular buildings were grouped around them. The Talaioticum began around 1,500 BC and ended in 123 BC with the capture of Majorca by the Romans.
Navetaswere houses that resembled upside-down boats (Latin nave = ship). They were the most widespread form of construction on Majorca before the talaiots and were mainly built in the period from around 2,000 to 1,500 BC.
Abrigos & Artificial CavesThese are the archetypes of Mallorcan housing culture. Long before people started building ship-shaped navetas, there were already traces of settlements under so-called "abrigos" (rock overhangs) and from around 3,000 BC, artificial caves were chiselled into the rock.
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