Museu Arqueològic de Deià
The Archaeological Museum of Deià is located on Carrer Teia, in the Municipality of Deià, next to the MA-10 road, in the Tramuntana mountains.
After reaching the municipality, follow the signs for the Museum, in the direction of Cala Deià. The museum is housed in an old 17th‑century windmill that was restored and reformed by William Waldren and Jackie Waldren, as a location for the current archaeological Mallorcan museum.
A visit to the museum is like travelling to the origins of modern archaeology in Mallorca and discovering the origins of the occupation of the island. In it there are remains from the archaeological sites that William Waldren excavated from the late 1950s onwards when he came to the island from the USA.
There are items from archaeological sites in the area between Deià and Valldemossa. The remains of Myotragus Balearicus from the Muleta cave are especially noteworthy, as are the settlements of Son Matge, Son Ferrandell Olesa and Son Mas.
The Son Matge archaeological site, is located in a natural shelter in the municipality of Valldemossa. It has been dated to sometime between the middle and end of the second millennium Before the Common Era (bce). The first traces of human occupation of the island are recorded here, with flint tools and items of pottery that have been classified as being from the Bell Beaker culture, that is to say, from the Copper Age. These first settlers came from the Gulf of Lion and were small groups of cattle and arable farmers, who complemented their diet by gathering and by hunting small animals and insects that they could find in the mountains.
Also located in the municipality of Valldemossa is the archaeological site of Son Mas, which features a shrine from the Balearic Period. These buildings are characterised by their horse-shoe shape, and there are the remains of animal sacrifices, objects associated with libations such as cups and the remains of amphorae and related imported crockery that indicate the presence of wine. Although the remains show that the building was in use in this period, it is known that it was built on the remains of an older occupation as the remains of Bell Beaker pottery, dated to the Copper Age, have also been found.
The archaeological site of Son Ferrandell-Olesa is the last of the archaeological jewels that Waldren excavated, again in the municipality of Valldemossa. It is characterised by the presence of various round and square talayots, distributed throughout the grounds of the estate that gives the archaeological site its name. The most significant remains, however, are the talayots, remains of huts and stabling structures from the Bronze Age have also been recorded.
As you can see, a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Deià means discovering the origins of human occupation of the island, but it will also let you discover the life of a professional who combined his training in contemporary art with his passion for archaeology, finding a new way of understanding and practicing his craft and of displaying the remains he found in a museum. Along with a group of local and foreign artists, he rebuilt an old windmill to give it a new purpose and new architectural expression, creating the island’s first modern museum. It is not only used for displaying archaeological pieces, but is also used as a cultural centre, with cultural activities of all types being held there.