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Conjunt Basilical de Son Peretó
The Basilica complex of Son Peretó is located on the outskirts of the municipality of Manacor, six kilometres from the town on the MA-15 road that links the municipality with Sant Llorenç des Cardassar. It is located on a small hill that commands the whole of the plain in this area of Mallorca. The entrance is very well marked with an iron monolith.
This religious space was founded in the 6th century and was abandoned during the 8th century. Its destruction was caused by fire. We do not know is if this was an accident or was the result of a Muslim raid. We should also note that it is one of the few spaces from this period that can be visited, and field work and research has been carried out here year after year since 2005.
During these little more than 200 years there was an intense ecclesiastic activity, typical of a community of members of a religious order. Throughout these two centuries the complex was rebuilt twice, both in the basilica and baptismal area, and in the area that surrounded it. This was a workers’ area where various types of artisanal activities were carried out, most notably foundry work and glass work. There were also storage spaces here. This all suggests a community that not only produced to guarantee its subsistence, but that would possibly have supplied products to other nearby communities.
The following are especially interesting amongst the different elements of this archaeological site in Manacor:
- The two baptismal fonts located in the baptistery: initially a font was constructed with steps to enter it and receive the Christian Sacrament. Subsequently, in a period of renovations, a new baptismal space was built in accordance with the new Christian customs. Believers no longer climbed inside the sacramental structure to be baptised; this was now done by aspersion, sprinkling water over the head of the new Christian.
- The different mosaics recorded inside the basilica cannot be seen at the archaeological site, but they can be enjoyed on a visit to the Late Antiquity Room at the Manacor History Museum. There is an extensive explanation here of the period and of the archaeological site.
- Funereal area: In various spaces in the archaeological site there are a number of individual burials of people of both sexes, including children. This suggests a community that was not just inhabited by members of the religious order.
One of the central questions of this archaeological site in Manacor is whether the site formed part of a small community based around a religious order, a small rural centre on the outskirts of Manacor or whether it was an outlying district of the city itself.
At present there are still unanswered questions that invite you to visit and develop our ideas. You can do this by walking through the excavated section that has been carefully made into a museum and restored. This fact helps us to enjoy it and understand what the misnamed Dark Ages of the Balearic Islands were like: the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Muslim societies.
Will you come and discover this period in time?