25 June 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Discoveries on the island of Minorca shed light on the history of Roman conquests in the Balearic Islands

The University of Alicante Institute for Archeology and Historical Heritage (INAPH) Researchs discovered a collection of buried Roman antiquities going back to 100 BC at the recent Catlar’s Menorcan excavation site.

The island of Menorca (Minorca) is one of Spain’s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean.

Fernando Prados, researcher, and director of the Modular Project: Phoenician-Punic Architecture at the Alicante University Archeology and Historical Heritage Research Institute (INAPH), briefed on the discoveries of the sixth season and said that they brought an “outstanding” collection to the Ciutadella Museum.

One year after being unable to excavate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, archaeologists have resumed work in the Crooked Gateway area. This kind of door is a characteristic of Punic culture, and it was used as a defense system to prevent possible siege by the Romans.

The discovery of this blind gate means a huge leap in Menorca’s historical knowledge. Excavation of the gate and the street leading to the gate led to the discovery of a material store buried above the ground. A large number of typical items carried by Roman soldiers were found: weapons, knives, three arrows, spearheads, projectiles, surgical tools, bronze spatula probes, etc.

The excavation area at the Son Catlar fortress where the Roman artifacts were discovered.                Source: University of Alicante
The excavation area at the Son Catlar fortress where the Roman artifacts were discovered. Photo: University of Alicante

Although finding this sort of material is not rare, it is unusual for it to be in such pristine shape.

Their location next to the Son Catlar gate is significant because it shows they were buried as talismans or good luck charms.

As Prados said, might be related to the mystical protective properties ascribed to it by the Romans when closing doors against bad spirits.

Roman artifacts like these pottery fragments were found in one area of the Son Catlar dig site. ( University of Alicante )
Roman artifacts like these pottery fragments were found in one area of the Son Catlar dig site. ( University of Alicante )

Roman soldiers were very superstitious and used to perform these rituals. At that time, the world of doors was full of magic. The Romans gave city gates a sacred value, and to completely seal a city gate would require certain magical actions.

According to the UA researcher, the conservation of the full perimeter of the wall at Son Catlar makes the site a source of considerable importance since it gives a great lot of opportunity for researching the archaeology of conflict and war.

The Modular Project’s research program on the island is supported financially by the Menorca government, INAPH, and the Cap Blanch campground, as well as logistically by the Ciutadella municipal council and the Mart I Bella Historical-Archaeological Association.

Between the first century BC and the first millennium AD, the Romans were one of many foreign empires and kingdoms that conquered the Balearic island nations, including Menorca.

Related Articles

Evidence of a 1500-year-old Byzantine church found on the beach of Ashdod, Israel

22 February 2022

22 February 2022

Recent rain in Israel has unearthed the remains of a marble pillar dating to around 1,500 years ago on a...

Staging of religion on rock paintings that are thousands of years old in southern Egypt desert

10 May 2023

10 May 2023

Egyptologists at the University of Bonn and the University of Aswan want to systematically record hundreds of petroglyphs and inscriptions...

The Cairo University archaeological mission unearths the tomb of Ramses II’s royal treasurer at Saqqara necropolis

1 November 2021

1 November 2021

Archaeologists working at the Saqqara necropolis have unearthed the tomb of Ptah-M-Wiah, a high-ranking ancient Egyptian official and head of...

The Life of the Maya Ambassador Found in El Palmar was not Easy

18 March 2021

18 March 2021

El Palmar is a small plaza compound in Mexico near the borders of Belize and Guatemala. Archaeologists Kenichiro Tsukamoto and...

Europe’s earliest cities had a predominantly vegetarian diet

27 December 2023

27 December 2023

The population of the Copper Age mega-sites in what is now Ukraine and Moldova had a predominantly vegetarian diet. In...

Denisovans or Homo Sapiens: Who Were the First to Settle Permanently on the Tibetan Plateau?

8 December 2021

8 December 2021

The Tibetan Plateau has long been considered one of the last places to be populated by people in their migration...

A cobbled ford uncovered near Evesham could be the finest Roman example of its type in Britain

19 October 2022

19 October 2022

A cobbled ford believed to be of Roman construction has been discovered near Evesham in Worcestershire, England. If the path...

13,000-year-old Clovis campsite discovered in Michigan

10 September 2021

10 September 2021

In St. Joseph County, independent researcher Thomas Talbot and University of Michigan scholars uncovered a 13,000-year-old Clovis campsite, which is...

New fibula types discovered at prehistoric Kopilo graves in Bosnia

26 August 2022

26 August 2022

An archaeological dig at Kopilo, a hill settlement founded around 1300 BC about 70 miles west of Sarajevo, has discovered...

3600 years old Unique ancient drinking bowls on display at Boğazkale Museum

15 August 2021

15 August 2021

The 3,600-year-old fist-shaped drinking bowls found in excavations in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Civilization, which shaped the Anatolian...

Battle of the Egadi Islands: Rome’s deadly weapons discovered off Sicily

3 September 2021

3 September 2021

Underwater archaeologists from the Soprintendenza del Mare Regione Siciliana, RPM Nautical Foundation, and the Society for the Documentation of Submerged...

5000-year-old jewelry factory found in Rakhi Garhi in India’s Indus Valley region

9 May 2022

9 May 2022

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has made an important discovery by finding the remains of a 5000-year-old jewelry factory...

Archaeologists in northern Spanish have discovered what they believe to be the oldest Basque language text

15 November 2022

15 November 2022

Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the oldest Basque language text, on  Irulegi archaeological site, near the Aranguren...

Thousand-year-old bone skate discovered in Czech Republic

20 March 2024

20 March 2024

Archaeologists from the central Moravian city of Přerov, Czech Republic have announced a unique discovery. While carrying out excavations in...

New Evidence for Roman’s Emerald Production in Egypt’s the Eastern Desert

16 April 2021

16 April 2021

Archaeological excavations in Egypt’s eastern desert provide new data. Excavations in the Egyptian Eastern Desert delivers proof of emerald mines...