Roman weapons deposit unearthed at Son Catlar prehistoric settlement

During excavations at Son Catlar, an ancient hamlet on Menorca, archaeologists uncovered a collection of Roman military equipment and weaponry, including surgical instruments.

Son Catlar has been occupied since about 2000/1200 BC and lasted until the late Roman period when it was abandoned. On Menorca, this is the only Talayot village that possesses an 870-metre-long preserved Cyclopean wall that surrounds a 2-acre stone town.

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When the Romans conquered Menorca in the 2nd century, these buildings became a common architectural element of Punic sites.

Institute for Research in Archaeology and Historical Heritage (INAPH) at the University of Alicante, which had been studying the elbow gate region for three seasons, began their work this year, following a year-long hiatus due to COVID.

In addition to projectiles, arrowheads, knives, and surgical instruments, the crew also found an ancient metal spatula.

Sacred implications might attach to a doorway or gateway leading into a city for the Romans. They were sometimes connected with Janus, the god of beginnings and gates and transitions and dualities.

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As Fernando Prados, the project’s director, explained, “Roman troops were superstitious and performed ceremonies.” It was believed that sealing a city’s entrance firmly required specific magical activities, such as the dumping of valuable equipment.

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