Location: Manacor, Illes Balears, Spain
ArchaeoSpain participants will be joining the ongoing archaeological excavation and restoration of the Early Christian and Byzantine settlement of Son Peretó, located in the eastern part of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands.
Son Peretó is one of the most important sites for the period on the islands and a notable example of Early Christian architecture. Archaeologists have already uncovered a basilica, a baptistery with two baptismal basins and two sectors of adjacent rooms used for housing and funeral rites.
This coming year we will focus on the excavation and restoration of rooms next to the baptistery, and there is a good chance we'll also be digging inside the basilica.
Our objectives are the restoration and excavation of the main structures at Son Peretó. In June 2009, archaeologists found a washing basin used before church services next to a baptismal font. While this is not uncommon for this type of church, it is the first example found on Mallorca.
The year prior, we completed the majority of the restoration work on the main baptismal font. At that time we removed the basin for restoration, and thus had the opportunity to excavate below. During our first campaign in 2005, we discovered pottery sherds in the foundations of the walls that allow us to date that area of the site to, at the earliest, around the year 500. Piecing together a chronology of the various buildings and areas is another of our objectives for the coming year. While the evidence so far suggests the basilica was built during the Byzantine time, other areas of the settlement could have been inhabited by previous cultures.
Son Peretó was first discovered in 1912 in a field near the town of Manacor. The first archaeological work uncovered a basilica-shaped church 21 meters long and 14 meters wide, with three naves separated by rows of columns. Subsequent excavations took place in 1967 by the University of Barcelona, focusing on the mosaic floors (now housed in the Manacor Historical Museum), and in the early 1980s by the Mallorca Museum and the universities of Palma and Barcelona.
The current project, managed by the Manacor Historical Museum and the University of Barcelona, began in 2005, and since then we have aimed to preserve and restore the remains uncovered during the 20th-century excavations, especially standing structures such as the foundations of several walls and untouched graves. So far the graves uncovered have been found in excellent condition.
Period(s) of Occupation: Byzantine
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
The group will be staying at a house in the village of Port Nou next to the sea for the duration of the program (a 20-minute drive to the site).
There are four rooms, a living/dining room, kitchen (with built-in well for fresh water), bathroom, and laundry machine. All bedding is provided.
The Mediterranean is a stone's throw from our patio overlooking the surf.
Food for breakfast will be provided at the house, lunch will be eaten at a restaurant in Manacor, and we will prepare our own dinner at the house. We will have a mid-work snack on site.
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered: none