Skip to main content

Dating Prehistoric Fortified Coastal Sites in the Balearic Islands

  • Montserrat Anglada (a1), Antoni Ferrer (a1), Damià Ramis (a1), Magdalena Salas (a1), Mark Van Strydonck (a2), Maria José León (a3) and Lluís Plantalamor (a4)...

A special type of coastal settlement, promontory forts defended by inland-facing walls, appeared in the Balearic Islands in an imprecise time during the Bronze Age. A research project was initiated in 2011 to study one of these sites on each of the two major islands of the archipelago. The first one, Es Coll de Cala Morell (north Menorca), is a walled promontory with a relatively large plateau, with 13 horseshoe-shaped houses (navetes). The second, Sa Ferradura (east Mallorca), is a smaller coastal cape, with a different spatial planning, with only two large built-up areas, both attached to the enclosure wall. Two of the navetes have been excavated at Es Coll de Cala Morell, showing a domestic space with a central hearth in both cases. The occupation has been dated to around 1600–1200 cal BC. At Sa Ferradura seven hearths have been recorded in a large, open-air area. Their chronology falls within the interval of approximately 1200/1100–900 cal BC. From a chronological point of view, fortified settlements in coastal promontories are not, as was expected, a unitary phenomenon in Menorca and Mallorca and have to be related to different cultural periods.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email:
Hide All

Selected Papers from the 8th Radiocarbon & Archaeology Symposium, Edinburgh, UK, 27 June–1 July 2016

Hide All
Anglada, M, Ferrer, A, Plantalamor, L, Ramis, D, Van Strydonck, M. 2013. La sucesión de ocupaciones entre el Calcolítico y la Edad Media en el yacimiento de Cornia Nou (Menorca, Islas Baleares). Espacio, Tiempo y Forma. Serie I, Nueva Época (Prehistoria y Arqueología) 6:269299.
Anglada, M, Ferrer, A, Ramis, D, Salas, M. 2015. Les llars de foc en els caps costaners de Sa Ferradura (Manacor) i Es coll de cala Morell (Ciutadella). In: Andreu C, Ferrando C, Pons O, editors. L’Entreteixit del Temps. Miscel·lània d’Estudis en Homenatge a Lluís Plantalamor Massanet. Palma: Conselleria de Participació, Transparència i Cultura del Govern de les Illes Balears. p 5972.
Boudin, M, Van Strydonck, M, van den Brande, T, Synal, H-A, Wacker, L. 2015. RICH – a new AMS facility at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, Belgium. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 361:120123.
Calvo, M, Javaloyas, D, Albero, D, Garcia-Rosselló, J, Guerrero, V. 2011. The ways people move: mobility and seascapes in the Balearic Islands during the late Bronze Age (c. 1400–850/800 bc). World Archaeology 43(3):345363.
Cazzella, A, Recchia, G. 2013. Bronze Age fortified settlements in Southern Italy and Sicily. In: Bartoloni G, Micheletti LM, editors. Mura di legno, mura di terra, mura di pietra: fortificazioni nel Mediterraneo antico. Atti del Convegno Internazionale Sapienza Università di Roma, 7–9 maggio 2012. Scienze dell’Antichità 19. Roma: Edizioni Quasar. p 4564.
Coll, J. 1997. Arquitectura ritual versus arquitectura doméstica en la cultura talaiótica. In: La pedra en sec. Obra, paisatge i patrimoni. Actes del IV Congrés Internacional de Construcció de Pedra en Sec (Mallorca, 1994). Palma: Consell Insular de Mallorca. p 467482.
Depalmas, A. 2014. New data from fortified coastal settlement of Cap de Forma, Mahon, Menorca (Balearic Islands). Radiocarbon 56(2):425437.
Guerrero, VM. 2008. El Bronce Final en las Baleares. Intercambios en la antesala de la colonización fenicia del archipiélago. In: Celestino S, Rafel N, Armada XL, editors. Contacto cultural entre el Mediterráneo y el Atlántico (siglos XII-VIII ane). La precolonización a debate. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. p 183217.
Juan, G, Plantalamor, L. 1996. L’aixecament planimètric del cap costaner de Cala’n Morell. Treballs del Museu de Menorca 15. Mahon. Conselleria de Cultura, Educació i Esports del Govern Balear.
Longin, R. 1971. New method of collagen extraction for radiocarbon dating. Nature 230:241242.
López Pons, A. 2001. El poblament inicial i els grups pretalaiòtics. In: Vidal JM, director. Enciclopèdia de Menorca. Tom Nove. Història I. Volum 1: Dels inicis Del poblament a l’època talaiòtica. Mahon: Obra Cultural de Menorca. p 85131.
Plantalamor, L, Van Strydonck, M. 1997. La cronologia de la prehistòria de Menorca (Noves datacions de 14 C) , Treballs del Museu de Menorca 20. Mahon: Conselleria d’Educació, Cultura i Esports del Govern Balear.
Plantalamor, L, Tanda, G, Tore, G, Baldaccini, P, Del Vais, C, Depalmas, A, Marras, G, Mameli, P., Mulè, P, Oggiano, G, Spano, M. 1999. La navigazione nel Mediterraneo occidentale dall’età del Bronzo all’età del Ferro. Antichità Sarde, Studi e Ricerche 5:11160.
Pons, G. 1999. Anàlisi espacial del poblament al Pretalaiòtic final i al Talaiòtic I de Mallorca . Monografies de Patrimoni Històric, Collecció La Deixa 2. Palma: Consell de Mallorca.
Ramis, D, Salas, M. 2014. Chronology of the S’Hospitalet Vell naveta village: an example of Bronze Age settlement in the Balearic Islands. Radiocarbon 56(2):375385.
Van Strydonck, M, van der Borg, K. 1990–1991. The construction of a preparation line for AMS-targets at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage. Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage 23:228234.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
  • URL: /core/journals/radiocarbon
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 25 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 240 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 18th September 2017 - 20th March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.