Menorca Talayótica, closer than you think!

Most menorcans have great expectations regarding the 2016 UNESCO World Heritage list, we all hope Menorca Talayótica will be inscribed and form part of the list making us very proud.
32 sites have been presented and represent some of the most important settlements, constructions, public buildings, sanctuaries, burial sites and caves of the island which in turn cover the historical period between the arrival of humans until the roman conquest, aproximately 2000 years. (www.menorcatalayotica.info)

The excitement is such that we have seen two independent guidebooks on the subject published during this summer, there are also several summer camps where future archaeologist practise their studies, coming from universities around the world. The chance of Menorca’s Talayotic Culture being declared UNESCO World Heritage opens an array of possibilities for many of us to learn more about the ancient inhabitants of the island and their progress towards our modern day societies, also the fascinating idea of new excavations taking place, solving some mysteries and no doubt unravelling many new questions for study but let’s not forget the impact this may have on the Tourist Industry.

Our more famous ancestors are the “Honderos Baleares”, fearless and skillful sling men which gave name to the Balearic Islands.

The landscape of the island is marked by stone constructions, which for many years seemed to have no interest other than being landmarks, forming part of legends or unfortunately becoming materials for modern-day construction.

Menorca has 2 sites per square kilometer, therefore in Cala en Porter and it’s surroundings, we too, have several sites, some of which we all see day in day out and most likely pay little attention to.
As we leave Cala en Porter, at the last crossing before turning right towards Mahon at the Give Way sign, look up and in the distance you’ll recognize a mound in the horizon, that is in fact Torre de’n Galmés and what you see is the tallest of the standing Talaiots in the high part of what once was the largest settlement on Menorca.

Head for Mahón and soon enough you’ll pass Sant Vicent farm, a minor Talaiot stands shyly amongst some wild olive trees to the right of their private tarmac-lane and next to it, also hidden in the vegetation, are the ruins of a possible Taula sanctuary, yet to be fully excavated. This is more visible as you drive towards Cala en Porter.

The sanctuaries of So na Caçana are a couple of kilometres down the road, heading towards Alaior. The non-indicated, quite unique and unexplored Torre Llisà is a little further on. Keep going and soon you’ll reach Torralba de’n Salort, one of the most spectacular settlements, where you’ll be astounded by it’s mighty Taula, the largest standing today.
Let’s backtrack. At the Cales Coves - Son Vitamina crossing, the Camí de Binicalaf leads to Sant Climent, two more Talaiots are in the vicinity Binicalaf and Binixíquer.
Turning right into Cales Coves, the recently surfaced road that leads to the cove passes a smaller Talaiot, Talaiot de Biniedrís in what today is private property.

After walking for the last part, the trail leads to Cales coves, such a marvellous and special place that needs a much more interesting presentation which we’ll pospone for another time.
Cales Coves covers various historical periods and cultures, a variety of uses and until not so long ago was home to a community of people seeking for an alternative way of life. About 100 caves built and used as burial places explain why we refer to it as a Necropolis (city of the dead), Menorca’s largest, and most likely used as a resting place for the communities living within the area.

From Cales Coves, if we return to Cala en Porter using the old trail, the one that leads from the cove up towards the pine glade via the zig-zagging stone trail, we’ll pass more remains, such as a dug-out elaborate well, possibly used for some sort of ritual and a large and wide stone wall in a semi-derelict state, part of a defence system. Back in town, follow the Camí de Cavalls from the beach towards Son Bou, once near alaior turn north for visiting the truly impressive Torre de’n Galmés; that distant Talaiot mentioned at the beginning is about two hour walk away. Along the way is an early burial site; the Dolmen known as Ses Roques Llises also a pretty curious and still to be explained site called Sa Comerma de Na Garita; these are hard to find since they are not sign-posted.

But if walking in the heat and excerise isn’t for you; one can always visit our own Taula, back in the 70’s a supermarket called Sa Taula was built, complete with a concrete replica of this very unique Menorcan monument. Now it’s hidden amongst the vegetation next to the out of use property, opposite the Castle.

This Article forms part of a collaboration for the Cala en Porter Fiestas Magazine 2015
Original Text by Luis AMeller - Photos Google

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