Naveta des Tudons
Naveta dels Tudons © Zen Trowel
Regarded as the 'cathedral of prehistoric monuments', the Naveta des Tudons is the best-known archaeological site on Minorca. One of numerous navetas on the island, it is situated just outside Ciutadella on the road from Mahon and stands two stories high, shaped like the upturned bow of a ship. It is accepted that navetas were funereal structures, but they remain surrounded by mystery and legends. The Naveta des Tudons is Minorca's most remarkable megalithic chamber tomb as it is the largest and the best preserved. The structure was used as a collective ossuary between 1200 and 750 BC, and held the remains of more than 100 skeletons. The interior is not accessible to the public but it is still well worth visiting the site.
Another important ancient site on the island is the Torre d'en Gaumes, the largest prehistoric village in the Balearic Islands, which is on the south side of Minorca between the village of Alaior and the Son Bou beach. The village features three talaiots (stone towers) surrounded by a defensive wall, pillared naves and a taula (a T-shaped stone temple structure). There is also a dolmenic burial chamber at the site.