MAIN ELEMENTS IN TAULA SANCTUARIES FROM MENORCA

Even though Menorcan Taula sanctuaries can present different variations in their components and organization, there are certain elements and characteristics which are constant in all of them.
The first one is the building’s layout, which usually has a horseshoe shape. This means that the façade, where the main entrance is located, is rectilinear or slightly concave. Then, this entrance is located towards the center of this wall. The rest of the building’s layout is composed by a concave enclosure or apse.
 
And the central element inside the building is the T-shaped monument called TAULA (meaning table in Catalan, since according to old legends these monuments were the tables used by giants that inhabited the island!). The taula monument is composed by a vertical stone and a lintel on it, being the most important feature in all sanctuaries.
Taula of Trepucó site
Taula monument of Trepucó, one of the largest on the island.
Taula of Torretrencada settlement. It has an extra pilaster to support the taula's capital.
Taula of Torretrencada settlement. It has an extra pilaster to support the taula’s capital.
Some of these taula monuments can be wedged by smaller stones at each side or even by more than two. Other differences among taula sanctuaries have to do with the presence of niches on their interior walls or pillars abutting them, among others. And also the taula monuments can present different sizes, shapes and methods for placing the lintel on top of the vertical stone.
In the following image you can see the ideal planimetry of a taula sanctuary, where the building’s layout and the position of the central monument can be seen, as well as other features such as columns and pillars abutting to the walls, niches and small apses inside the building.
Idealized layout of a taula enclosure.
Idealized layout of a taula enclosure (picture from book “From Myotragus to Metellus: a Journey through the pre and early-History of Majorca and Minorca”, by Mark Van Strydonck, following Peter Hochieder and Doris Knösel.
In this other image you can see the ideal taula monument, with its lintel (J), supporting stone (K) and smaller stones wedging it at each side (Fs).
Main elements of a taula monument
Main elements of a taula monument. From the book: “From Myotragus to Metellus: a Journey through the pre and early-History of Majorca and Minorca”, by Mark Van Strydonck, following Peter Hochieder and Doris Knösel.
 
So far we know that the taula sanctuary at Sa Cudia Cremada has the typical horseshoe shaped layout with the main entrance located at its façade’s center. Last year, during our first excavation campaign, we located its central monument!, that’s to say, the taula. Even though just a few centimeters are exposed, we can see that it is its vertical stone, which is placed in an upright position.  Also, some pilasters which abut the walls were located too. 
The uppermost levels inside the sanctuary were removed, where loads of materials were recovered. Most of them were pottery sherds from different periods, including Medieval, Roman and Protohistoric. The more recent materials (Roman and Medieval) explain a reoccupation, or at least a frequentation, of the area and the building after the Talayotic period.
This year we are going to continue digging in this amazing building! Do you want to join us? Sign up for our summer courses at SA CUDIA CREMADA FIELD SCHOOL, MENORCA!!!
 
For further information contact us at sacudiafieldschool@gmail.com 

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