Town:

Santa Ponça

Ownership:

Private

Price:

Free

Timetable:

These depend on when the shopping centre is open

Web:

Visit the website

Other Links:

Plus Calvià - Villa Romana de sa Mesquida
Plus Calvià - Romanos, vándalos y bizantinos
Plus Calvià - Época Romana y Tardoantigua

Services:

information panels

Icono Yacimientos 45 Sa Mesquida

The Mallorcan archaeological site of Sa Mesquida is located in a supermarket carpark in the town of Santa Ponça, Calvià. In order to reach it, head for the town on the MA-1 road and take the Rey Jaume I avenue towards the town centre. It is located just past a roundabout.

In the entrance to the shopping centre you will find the remains of what appears to be a rural settlement founded in the 1st century Before the Common Era (bce). This Roman villa, along with those at Can Maiol (Felanitx) and Son Sard (Son Servera) are the only excavated villas that are considered to be new built. These would have been a fundamental part of the rural world in Mallorca, also made up by a large number of settlements of Talayotic origin that continued their social development after the Roman conquest in 123 bce.

The villa of sa Mesquida is located some 500 metres from the sea, in the middle of an old fertile plain, suitable for farming and for developing a rural settlement with intensive farming activity.

There are two different areas that are particularly interesting in this archaeological site in Calvià. On the one hand, there is a group of 6 rooms arranged around an uncovered central patio with a well. In this sector of the complex it is worth noting a series of structures. The first is a structure associated with the production of salted foods or making wine. The second is the remains of a kiln for firing earthenware made using a potters wheel. This is the first recorded kiln of this type on the island and shows that in the archaeological site a pottery activity of local or regional scope was also carried out. This type of pottery is classified within the earthenware pottery produced in many parts of the Empire.

This first area, founded in the 1st century bce, was destroyed at the end of the 2nd century. The reasons for its destruction are unknown.

In the archaeological site’s second zone the remains of a cistern that had been used as a rubbish tip throughout the 5th and 6th centuries were found. A wide variety of items have been found in here: remains of amphorae, crockery, earthenware and kitchenware, and a large amount of animal remains, glass, metals and architectural elements. The pottery, from various provinces, is proof of the intensive contact between this small rural settlement and the rest of the island of Mallorca with other areas in the Mediterranean such as the Iberian Peninsula, the north of Africa or the south of Gaul (modern day France).

As a result, at this archaeological site we can again see the importance of what is now Santa Ponça with regards to the outside world. Within this strategic enclave we should not forget the cove of the same name where merchandise of all types would enter and leave. Amongst this merchandise wine from Roman Italy or Hispania Tarraconensis and oil from Hispania Baetica, for example, stand out, products that were highly valued in several areas of the Mediterranean.

Picture what present-day Santa Ponça would have been like from the 1st to the 6th centuries: a thriving rural location, busy with agricultural tasks next to a fertile plain that would favour the development of the population of the time: a very different space from the one that we can see nowadays.