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Collection Object of the Month



Origin: Circle 7 of the Torre d'en Galmés settlement (Alaior)

Material:  Handmade ceramic, without use of a potter's wheel


Object 1 (beaker): Height: 24 cm; rim diameter: 25.5 cm; base diameter: 16 cm

Object 2 (Pot): Height: 16 cm; rim diameter 14.5 cm; base diameter 12 cm

Object 3 (Small jug) Height: 8 cm; rim diameter: 6 cm; base diameter: 4.5 cm

Object 4 (Askos): Height: 22.5 cm; rim diameter: 12 cm; diameter of the base: 9 cm

Culture: Late Talayotic

Inventory number:

Object 1 (beaker): 15996

Object 2 (Pot): 15997-15998

Object 3 (Small jug) 17181-17182

Object 4 (Askos): 17183

Date: 4th-3rd Century  BCE


These four pieces from the Talayotic dwelling called Circle 7 of the Torre d'en Galmés Talayotic village (Alaior) are a group of ceramic objects that demonstrate the good condition in which the archaeological materials documented inside this Talayotic house were found. The house was excavated by a team of archaeologists from the Amics del Museu de Menorca association from 2005 to 2013 within an Archaeology course and helped to confirm that the building was used between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE, that is, the late Talayotic period. The building was left most likely in a sudden manner, since most of the documented materials inside were in-situ and in good condition. The house is a typical structure of the second Iron Age, with a circular layout and access on the south end. It is made up of a access corridor and a central courtyard from where the different spaces are distributed in a radial fashion and were used as rooms, storage and where household tasks were carried out. These spaces were covered by roofs of made of plant materials. These four pieces are handmade ceramics, as Talayotic people did not use the potter's wheel, and they correspond to the period of the aforementioned dwelling.

With regards to the first object, it is a tall land large beaker that appeared in the stratigraphic unit (UE) 5, in the NW area of the house under a collapsed pilaster. Once the house was abandoned, this pilaster collapsed on the beaker and was broken into small pieces. When excavated and all the pieces recovered, it was restored into the current condition. Its truncated-cone shaped body is decorated with spike-shaped incisions and two lug handles surrounded by a cord with no decoration. It has a central band divided in two parts by a central nerve and is decorated with spike-shaped incisions. It has a well-differentiated foot of triangular section and decorated with spike-shaped incisions. Its use is not clear, although it could be related to some kind of ritual. Nevertheless, it must be said that the area where this large beaker is documented has been construed as a storage room, therefore we suppose it was use for household or even ritualistic tasks.

The second object is a carinated pot found intact with the lid in a corner of the house, in particular in the NW area of the UE-2. The pot survived the collapse of the building thanks to its location. It is a carinated pot, with a slightly concave base, vertical rim and rounded lip. The exterior surface is decorated with two different carved lines forming triangles, one on the rim and the other on the base. It was found covered with a flat lid with hanging rim and rounded lip. It had a semicircular handle in the middle, with a rather rounded shape. This group of ten objects was in turn covered by a fallen truncated-cone shaped beaker. The use of this group of objects was domestic and their content is still under investigation.

The third object is a small globular pot with flat base with a prominent rim and pointed lip. There is evidence that a pressure element of elliptical section was removed, therefore could not be recovered. Its exterior surface is polished with horizontal undulating trimming as decoration, with small and quite subtle marks carved in a circular fashion. It has a lid with an annular base and semi-circular handle in the middle. Its use was domestic and was found in the UE-2 of the NW area of Circle 7.

The last object, known as an askos, was found inside a silo in the front courtyard of Circle 7. It was discovered intact and there was a cow skull on top in an anatomical connection.It has an open triangular rim separated from its cylindrical neck. The body of the object is carinated and presents a flat base. Under the rim a vertical handle starts that ends on the carinated body. The walls have a spatula texture and a polished finish. It is the Talayotic ceramic imitation of an object of Greek or Punic origin. It may have been used in rituals such as an abandonment ceremony of the house and its courtyard.

Author: Amics del Museu de Menorca


CARBONELL, M.; CORRAL, B.; FERRER, A.; ISBERT, F.; LARA, C.; PONS, J.; RIUDAVETS, I. (2012): “El Círculo 7 de Torre d’en Galmés: puesta en valor de una Casa Talayótica del siglo III a.C.” a Proceedings of the First International Conference on Best Practices in World Heritage: Archaeology. Madrid

FERRER, A.; JUAN, G.; LARA, C.; PONS, J. (2011): El jaciment de Torre d’en Galmés (Alaior, Menorca). Les intervencions d’Amics del Museu de Menorca: Cercle 7 a III Jornades d’Arqueologia de les Illes Balears (Maó, 3 i 4 d’octubre, 2008). Menorca: CIMe, Llibres del Patrimoni Històric i Cultural 4, pàg. 109-117.

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