ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered a large cache of Roman weapons and tools in the protohistoric settlement of Son Catlar, Menorca. 

A statement released by the University of Alicante, who were carrying out the dig, revealed that the cache held Roman ‘weapons, knives, three arrowheads, spearheads, projectiles, surgical tools, a bronze spatula probe, and so on’.

Some of these items date back as far as 100 BC.

Dig Items
Archaeologists boxing up a knife found at the dig / Credit: University of Alicante

The dig site, which has just undergone its fifth season of excavation following a year of inactivity due to COVID, is a fort surrounded by an 870m wall, the largest Talayotic settlement in the area. 

The settlement, pending approval to be a UNESCO site, was a Talayotic (ancient Menorcan) and then later Roman stronghold, during the Punic period (264-146 BC). 

According to Heritage Daily, Son Catlar was originally founded between 2000-1200 BC and was occupied until 476 AD, the end of the Roman occupation. 

The director of the excavation, Fernando Prado, even speculates that the walls of the settlement had special religious meaning. 

Dig Site
Part of the 870m long wall around the 2.4 acre settlement / Credit: University of Alicante

Gateway to cities were associated with the God Janus, the god of transitions, time and beginnings. 

Prado said that ‘Roman soldiers were very superstitious and used to perform rites. The Romans gave a sacred value to the gates of the cities, and to seal one definitely would entail certain actions of a magical nature’. 

So this explains, perhaps, the high concentration of artefacts found at the Son Catlar site.

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