The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




After a busy day snorkelling at Binidali beach we took an early evening excursion out to see Trepuco (see pages 326 and 327 of TME) poblat on the southern outskirts of Mahón, Menorca's capital where mayonnaise may have been invented in 1756 to commemorate a victory over the English who were holding a castle in Mahón - hence 'mahonnaise'.... I digress.

The site at Trepuco is dominated by two gargantuan monuments – the mammoth talaiot tower and most sublime taula sanctuary. The talaiot was probably the biggest I saw on the island, about 8 metres tall and at least 12 metres in diameter, possibly more. I was a bit spooked when Moth started climbing it, but he took it slowly and was rewarded with great views. But the taula captivated me completely.

Glowing yellow in the evening sunlight and thin like rice paper, the great stone is carved on the front as if Canadian cheddar cut with a serrated knife. On top of this impossibly thin slab of something you'd put in yer butty, a bloody great grey horned block is somehow held aloft. I was in awe.

I should also mention the setting of this ancient cheesy wonder as it follows an approximate pattern of most taula sanctuaries.

The T stone usually stands roughly centrally in a horseshoe-shaped enclosed wall, built using giant stones. Many of these are tall pillars which appear to mark out chambers or spaces. The front, or approach end, always the only way in, is usually a very shallow concave forecourt with a clear entry point. Whatever happened in these ritual places, they were not public affairs. The space is intimate and the walls originally too tall to see over. These taula sanctuaries usually stand within just a few metres of a talaiot. And from the top of most talaiots you can see El Toro, Menorca's centrally-placed sacred hill (now hijacked by Jesus, his mum and some nuns.)

All this is the case at Trepuco. We stayed here for some time so I could make some studies. It was sublime.
Jane Posted by Jane
30th July 2007ce

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