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Fieldnotes by Whoop_John

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Ses Roques Llises (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

The name of this site is definitely Ses Roques Llises and not Lisses. Sounds something like Lyeeses, although English has no exact similar double ll sound.

I visited with a Menorcan friend who told me the name simply means the sliced and squared rocks. I was told it is a word sometimes used to describe the limestone blocks quarried at the Ciutadella end of the island. I suppose the description given to Jane, smooth flat rocks, also applies.

This is one of nine similar holed tombs. One is in Mallorca, one in Formentera and famously four in Menorca. There have been found a further three in recent years, one in Mallorca and two in Menorca.

The tomb is much earlier than the Talayotic culture which built the sanctuary of Sa Comerma de Sa Garita which sits in the same field. The holed tomb dates from the earliest settlements, probably about 2000 BC.

Na Comerma (Taula)

The Wiltshire Magazine published an paper by Dr Phené read to the British Archaeological Association at devizes, 1880.

In it Dr Phené describes some of the monuments of Menorca, none of which had been documented anywhere in print before. He was specifically tracing trilithons as at Stonehenge, from Africa across Europe.

I believe he was shown Sa Comerma de Sa Garita, which Dr Phené describes as having a square plan. This is the only site in Menorca which seems to fit the bill as most are horse shoe-shaped and not bounded by open trilithon-style stones.

Here is an extract from the paper:

"Of the extraordinary remains in Minorca we have absolutely no historic information; the masonry indicates that they are Cyclopean of the oldest type, while that of the Nurhags of Sardinia, with which many suppose they agree, is often in courses, of wrought or well-trimmed stone. The grand feature of the Nurhage is also wanting in the Baleares, viz., the spiral staircase or ramp, which is found also in the brocks of Scotland. The plan of the grandest structure in Minorca is square at the base, and forms a pyramid, of which there is no example in Sardinia. In this building the angles are rounded, as before described.

There is historic reference to the Nurhags of Sardinia, and even their builder, lolaus, is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, but the antiquity of the remains in Minorca is lost in the mist of ages, or referred to the time of the very oldest of the mythological deities,

I find a quotation from Homer, and also from Pindar, which I have had not had time to verify, that there was a place in the Balearides, supposed to have been the palace of Saturn. I can imagine no place more suitable for this description than what I have called the grand temple."

Torre d'en Gaumes

There is now an organisation that manages many of the sites in Menorca, with an office in Mahon - Mao. As a result many of the popular sites now ask you to pay a few euros.

I visited in July 2013 and on Mondays access to the sites are free, so you might want to bear this in mind.

If you visit here, be sure to continue for about 750 metres down the lane to Sa Comerma de sa Garita and Ses Roques Llises. I put a map on the page for Na Comerma, which is more commonly called Sa Comerma.
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