Guided visits can be organised.
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S’Hospitalet Vell is located very close to one of Mallorca’s busiest tourist areas, Cales de Mallorca, to the south of the municipality of Manacor. To reach this Mallorcan archaeological site from the centre of Manacor head for Cales de Mallorca, on the MA‑4015 road. There are signs for the site at the turning with the MA‑4014 road heading towards Cales de Mallorca.
Despite its proximity to the tourist resort, the archaeological site is in a place where time does not seem to have passed. It is surrounded by fields of crops, carob trees and flocks of sheep, and is an ideal space for discovering the island’s past under the guidance of the team of archaeologists linked to the Manacor History Museum who year on year uncover fragments of history.
The archaeological site covers an extensive period of time, spread across three large areas. S’Hospitalet Vell is especially interesting because in a single visit you can discover the two major eras in Mallorca’s prehistory: the Bronze Age with its navetas, and the Iron Age, with the talayot and its associated structures.
The first major area on the site, and the oldest, can be dated to the middle of the second millennium Before the Common Era (bce), in the midst of the Balearic Bronze Age. In it there are various family structures: navetas. The naveta settlements are characterised by being small areas made of a small number of families. Their main activity was arable and livestock farming. In s’Hospitalet Vell there are four of these buildings in the shape of an inverted boat, each one of a different size.
Continuing the itinerary, you come to an area with a square talayot. This is one of the most distinctive on the island, given that, as well as its shape, it also has a set of slabs located on top of its central column that make it very unusual. The slabs were possibly a structure to support a second floor (acting as beams). From this second floor there would be a valuable view of the territory, over the plain and to the sea.
A series of buildings are attached to the talayot: a hypostyle hall and a set of houses that chronologically extend to the Balearic Period and the subsequent Roman conquest of the island. It is in this part of the archaeological site in Manacor that the traces of the site being frequented in the Islamic era are also to be found. This, as in the case of other settlements, shows us how, despite being abandoned at the start of the change of era, they were continuously frequented in several periods of time, as they are close to fertile land and water resources.
In a third area of the settlement there is a large and unusual rectangular building, constructed with an exterior face of perfectly located Cyclopean blocks. Its purpose is not well known, but it is thought that it would have elements of defence and display, where troops would be recruited, the famous slingers who would set sail for one of the areas of conflict in the western Mediterranean.