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To discover a thousand years of prehistory in Mallorca, visit the Son Fornés archaeological site, situated on the Pla de Mallorca, in the locality of Montuïri.
Coming from Palma on the MA-15 road, turn off at Montuïri and follow the signs that lead to this Mallorcan archaeological site on the PM-320 road.
Once there you will find a magnificent site surrounded by fields of crops and olive trees, two very Mediterranean products.
Talayot 1, one of the largest in Mallorca, welcomes visitors to one of the most typical settlements of the Talayotic Period. This settlement was founded in around the 10th century Before the Common Era (bce) by a community of farmers and labourers who lived on the crops they grew, their flocks and the plants and produce that they gathered.
This was an egalitarian society where life centred on the talayots, communal buildings of which there are three in Son Fornés: a large slaughterhouse, a ceremonial centre and a third one whose original use is unknown.
We do not know why the Talayotic settlements disappeared, to give way to the Balearic societies, but the fact is that all of the sites that have been excavated so far display evidence of major fires that caused their destruction at around 500 bce.
Around this time at the Son Fornés Mallorcan archaeological site a new town developed, on top of the ruins of the old Talayotic houses. The large stone towers were abandoned and communal life was organised around the so-called sanctuaries, horse-shoe shaped buildings. A network of lanes and small workshops developed around them that would become the first urban framework of the island. In this small inland town all types of materials arrived from outside the island, primarily from the orbit of Ibiza and Carthage, such as wine, cups for drinking it and jewels. With this change, social inequalities also arrived, most clearly in the figure of the slingers, mercenary warriors associated with the ruling classes.
At the end of the millennium, and shortly before the Romans arrived on the island, Son Fornés was again transformed and remodelled. The old workshop district was rebuilt and with these urban changes there are also changes in the material remains. Up to the middle of the 2nd century bce the main supplier of foreign goods had been Ibiza; now it was from Rome that goods reached this inland town, goods such as wine and the wares associated with its consumption from Campania in the south of modern-day Italy.
From the middle of the 1st century and up to the start of the 2nd century of our era, Son Fornés started to be abandoned in an ordered way. We do not know why, but this might have been in favour of other more important towns on the island, such as Pol.lèntia or Palma, the two major urban centres of the time.
Later on, pottery vessels from the from the Byzantine and Islamic periods have been recorded, but there are no remains of houses that would indicate the existence of settlements from these periods at this Mallorcan archaeological site.