|We could see Torre d'en Gaumes from the front porch of our villa, its three talaiot towers rising up on the horizon just about 2kms away. However, such is the state of Menorcan roads we had to drive miles to get to it. This is government operated site and has had money put in to it – areas roped off, nice concrete paths, wooden walkways, even toilets. This is a rare one for which you pay an entry fee. However, the young woman working in the ticket collection booth was very helpful and gave me a poster (featuring taulas, of course) which I admired on the wall for free. This woman, who had an unpronounceable name, would later help us find two amazing monuments within 500ms of Gaumes.
Gaumes is a very complex poblat monument which we didn't have time enough to unravel. It comprises all the usual features and them some more. Although it didn't have an intact taula to thrill me, it did have one or two other features which blew me away.
The first was to do with the taula. The capstone has at some point in antiquity been removed and inverted. The carved socket which the upright once slotted into now lies skywards like a watertrough or font.
The second was a fabulous system of water storage cisterns, great holes cut into the rock.
On such a dry island, fresh water must have been a premium commodity and the inhabitants at Gaumes collected and stored their water with particular flair. There were six or more tanks.
Thirdly, in one of the houses the roof structure was up. A roughly round space had a pillar in the middle from which long flat stones balanced and radiated out to the pillars in the walls like the spokes of a wheel.
Fourthly, a few intact 'doorframes'. Moth said that for him, it somehow made the houses much more real.
Finally, the views, the views! Cor! From up here you can see perhaps half of the southern part of the island.
Posted by Jane
30th July 2007ce