Imagine you walk through a passage way that is covered by a solid stone slab weighing some 3,000 kilogrammes or more and that was put there, no-one knows how, some 3,000 years ago, or more. Eerie.
Mallorcan civilization is much older than one might think. It is older than the Arab’s, and older than the Roman’s. As old as some Pharaonic dynasties, even.
There was life in the hills of the Levante some 4,000 years ago. Well, let’s settle for 3,000 years, just to avoid argument. Yes, that’s almost as old as the pyramids of Giza. No, I am not comparing the two. It is to give you a feeling of age, nothing more.
The Megalithic civilization that had settled in the Balearic islands, mainly really in Menorca, but to a lesser extent also in Mallorca, is called the Talayotic society. Talayotic because they lived in settlements that were characterized by some massive watchtowers, called Atalayas. If you are really into all that you should soon make your way to Menorca, where there are some fourty or fifty settlements, of various states of importance. Some of them are magnificent. World heritage stuff.
Here, on the bigger Balearic island, we have to settle for something smaller and lesser. But impressive nevertheless, if you join me on the way to Ses Païses (see photo above), near Artà, or to Capocorb Vell, south of Llucmajor, or to Son Fornés, near Montuïri. Mallorca has about twenty or twentyfive Talayotic settlements of some category, of which the three named above are the biggest and best preserved. Some dozen others and mainly smaller Talayots in Mallorca are not very well cared for, I am afraid. Some have been outright neglected.
I do not know why the Island guardians care so much more about small infringements in contemporary planning laws, when they have architectonic remains of historic importance on their hands that they neglect to even fence in and give it some minimum level of protection.
Be that as it regrettably may, you might just want to pop down to Llucmayor and see for yourself, one of these days. The Capocorb Vell settlement is well fenced in and is signposted all the way from Llucmajor. You can’t miss it. Opening hours there are from 10h00 to 20h00 (closed Thursday), now that the season is in full swing. The extensive Talayot is nicely looked after. Of course this is public domain, but the keepers are private people that obviously care. There is a small entry charge of 3 € and it is worth every Cent. If you get exhausted from looking and perhaps acting out that Indiana Jones urge inside of you, refreshments are on offer, as are crisps and sweets. You can take your young ones, too. But urge them to stick to the paths.
And if you are still up for it, you might check on the other sites, too. Son Fornés near Montuïri is currently being assessed in earnest, after many years of neglect. A small exhibition display has recently been opened at the vicinity.
A real classic is Ses Païses, near Artà, but then, some of you might know that one already.
It is the Talayot that Mallorca likes to show off.