Kiko explores the prehistory of Trepucó in Menorca
Today we will visit the Talayotic settlement of Trepucó. I invited my friends Troglo and Dita to come with me. Are you familiar with them? They were the first inhabitants of Son Bou and ensure that some of their relatives use to live in Trepucó.
The Talayotic culture in Menorca took place between 2000 BC and the arrival of the Romans, approximately around 123 BC. The name "talayots" stands for the large stones that were used as lookouts to watch over the village.
Trepucó is one of the largest Talayotic settlements and the most visited of Menorca. It occupies nearly 5,000 square meters and was first excavated in 1931 by archaeologist Margaret Murray of the University of Cambridge.
4.000 years of history
We have reached the settlement of Trepucó. The first thing you see is an impressive "talayot". It is more than 4 meters high and has a diameter of 26 meters. It seems that there were four like this in the area, but now only two remain.
Troglo tells us that from the top of the "talayot" you can see entrance out to the port of Mahon and that there is an access to the top but that we cannot go there now because it can be dangerous for visitors and, therefore, remains closed. He reminds us that these stones were placed nearly 4,000 years ago.
Tables for giants?
We walked to the left and found a "taula" of more than four meters high made out of large stones forming a kind of T. Dita tells us that according to legend, they were tables used by some type of giants who lived in the island centuries ago.
Archaeologists have shown that the enclosure of the "taula" was a place of worship that the civilization in those days used to celebrate rituals and sacrificed animals. The center was the "taula" and around it are small stone pillars.
We approach closer to make some photographs when Dita and Troglo tell me to be very careful because the "taula" is reinforced so that it can stay up. We must respect every stone and try not to move them.
Nearby we see the remains of three houses of the talayotic culture. The information sign informs us that it had a central patio and some side rooms. One served as a workshop for the manufacture of ceramic elements, lead and bones. The excavations pieces found are in the Museum of Menorca.
Other living spaces served as warehouses or barns for animals and in one of them they found ashes so they assume that it was the kitchen.
Research on the remains of these houses have detected that they were burned down. Troglo tells us that this happened when the Romans arrived because they wanted to take the Minorcan slingshots with them as weapons in the wars that were going on in Europe. The only way to do this, was to force them by making them homeless. It was known that the slingshots of the island had a reputation of being accurate and courageous!
You can still see little remains of the walls that surrounded the entire village of Trepucó. About 200 years ago, the Spanish troops invaded Menorca and fought against the British troops. They built a star-shaped fort that still remains the exhibition of "taula" and the great "talayot".
The only one in the world
Troglo and Dita are very happy to have taught me where the first inhabitants of Menorca lived. They are very proud of how these archaeological monuments are taken care of. They remind me that only in Menorca "taulas" can be seen. Nowhere else in the world you can find structures of this type.
They say Menorca is like an open air museum that has more than 1,500 prehistoric sites. Nothing less than 2 per square kilometer! And each of them has an ancient story told about them.