DID YOU KNOW?
There are different hypotheses that attempt to explain the mystery of how the great talayotic monuments, such as the taules in Menorca, were built: where the huge blocks of stone came from, and how they were transported and lifted.

There are different hypotheses that attempt to explain the mystery of how the great talayotic monuments, such as the taules in Menorca, were built: where the huge blocks of stone came from, and how they were transported and lifted.


Menorcan taules are comprised of two huge stones, one set vertically resting on the rock in the ground, and the second one lain horizontally on top, forming the image of a gigantic T. In some cases the vertical or supporting stone is more than four metres in length, and in Torralba del Pinar d’en Salord it is 5 metres long.

To obtain these large blocks of stone the constructors had to select sufficiently-consistent calcareous rock that would not break. The block of stone had to be extracted from the quarry in a single piece, by cutting the rock and breaking the stone, placing wooden wedges that were wetted in between. When the wood expanded due to the action of the water, the block would be pulled out from the rock bed. Then all that was left was to flatten the stone, and this work was probably done in the quarry itself.

For transportation, the most plausible method – used fairly frequently in many ancient cultures – would be to drag the block along on top of tree trunks. The power force used would be humans and draught animals (oxen or horses), quite abundant in Menorca at that time.

This has also been identified as the system for raising the capital stone, with the aid of a ramp. However, the problem with this hypothesis is that an extremely long ramp would be necessary, and it would not always be possible to build one in an area where there must have already been buildings. Which is why it is not altogether absurd to think that they may have used a kind of primitive crane made with large logs, ropes and a counterweight system which would enable them – with a great deal of effort, precaution and time - to raise the capital stone block and balance it in place on top of the supporting stone.




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PATRIMONI A LES ILLES BALEARS Agència de Turisme de les Illes Balears (ATB), Conselleria de Turisme i Esports Illes Balears Institut d'Estudis Balearics Illes Balears