Artà and Santa Margalida
Dòlmens de s’Aigua Dolça i son Bauló de Dalt
The dolmens of s’AgiuaDolça (Artà) and Son Bauló de Dalt (Santa Margalida) are some of the few dolmens that can be visited at Mallorcan archaeological sites. Both of them are located very close to the coast, particularly the one at s’Aigua Dolça, on Alcúdia Bay, from where they might have established some kind of relationship with the neighbouring island of Menorca.
Mallorca’s dolmens date from what is known as the Dolmenic period, between approximately 1900 and 1600 Before the Common Era. They are collective funerary structures used in the earliest stages of occupation of the islands, and show a certain influence of the Bell Beaker culture of the late third millennium. It is also worth noting that there is a strong similarity between the Mallorcan tombs and those recorded between the Midi-Pyrénées region in the south of France as far as the mouth of the river Ebro, in Catalonia.
In the case of the s’Aigua Dolça dolmen, we encounter a funerary space overlooking the sea in a magical location that can only be reached on foot along the coastal path that links Cap Farrutx to Alcúdia. Between Belén and the Colònia de Sant Pere, close to Ca los Camps.
When arriving at this Mallorcan archaeological site, you will see that it is a circular structure of just over 6 metres in diameter. Inside it there is a corridor paved with flat flagstones that leads to a square space for housing the dead (a cist), made of flat vertical stones of over a metre in height.
Inside the tomb 8 skulls and the remains of 34 individuals were found, accompanied by rich grave goods including pottery, tools made from stone and bone, and metal items. This is the only dolmen that it has been possible to excavate and record its contents without them having been looted. As a result we have been able to discover something about this type of collective burial that did not spread to the rest of the island.
The dolmen of Son Bauló de Dalt is located in the Son Bauló industrial estate. Surrounded by the industrial units of the 20th century, it seems to stand firm, bearing witness to a past that was very different from our present. To reach the archaeological site, head for Can Picafort on the MA-3413 road. Once at the entrance to the town, turn towards Artà on the MA-12 road, and after less than a kilometre turn into the industrial estate. The burial site is located on Calle Vial 2 Sector 7.
This dolmen is located on an artificial platform, giving it an air of being raised above the ground. The platform is oval in shape and it measures 16 metres in length by 9.5 in width. It comprises a series of flat slabs placed on top of a layer of natural soil. On top of the platform there is a circle of vertical slabs with an approximate diameter of 6 metres that would shut off the corridor and the interior chamber where the dead were placed. The central chamber comprises a quadrangular cist of approximately 4 m2 made of vertical slabs. This small chamber is connected to the entry corridor by a small opening.
At this Mallorcan archaeological site 5 individuals were found along with their associated grave goods, amongst which it is worth noting the collection of pottery and various fragments of flint instruments, a material that is not present in this area. This demonstrates the existence of trading relations with other parts of the island.