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The Es Tudons naveta is Menorca’s most famous burial monument and is a type of tomb found only on the island. It was built using the Cyclopean technique, meaning that medium sized stones were used and they were fitted together using a dry stone walling method, with no mortar. During an archaeological dig carried out in the 1960s, led by Menorcan archaeologist María Lluïsa Serra, the scattered skeletons of a hundred individuals of both genders and all ages were discovered, many of which dated back to the 9th century B.C.Naveta des Tudons The Es Tudons naveta is Menorca’s most famous burial monument and is a type of tomb found only on the island. It was built using the Cyclopean technique, meaning that medium sized stones were used and they were fitted together using a dry stone walling method, with no mortar. During an archaeological dig carried out in the 1960s, led by Menorcan archaeologist María Lluïsa Serra, the scattered skeletons of a hundred individuals of both genders and all ages were discovered, many of which dated back to the 9th century B.C.
Detail of the gap that have appeared over time in the naveta roof,
which consists of flat stone slabs.

Inside the naveta. You can see how it is split into two levels separated by stone slabs.

View of the upper chamber of the naveta, showing the different types of stone used to build it: smaller and evenly-shaped for the walls and large flat slabs for the roof and the upper floor.

View of the entrance door from inside the lower chamber. You can see the stone slabs separating the two floors.

Some of the burial goods found in the naveta during archaeological excavation work. They are on display in the Museum of Menorca in Maó.
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Naveta des Tudons

The Es Tudons naveta is Menorca’s most famous burial monument and is a type of tomb found only on the island. It was built using the Cyclopean technique, meaning that medium sized stones were used and they were fitted together using a dry stone walling method, with no mortar. During an archaeological dig carried out in the 1960s, led by Menorcan archaeologist María Lluïsa Serra, the scattered skeletons of a hundred individuals of both genders and all ages were discovered, many of which dated back to the 9th century B.C.
Detail of the gap that have appeared over time in the naveta roof,
which consists of flat stone slabs.

Inside the naveta. You can see how it is split into two levels separated by stone slabs.

View of the upper chamber of the naveta, showing the different types of stone used to build it: smaller and evenly-shaped for the walls and large flat slabs for the roof and the upper floor.

View of the entrance door from inside the lower chamber. You can see the stone slabs separating the two floors.

Some of the burial goods found in the naveta during archaeological excavation work. They are on display in the Museum of Menorca in Maó.


Despite being scatteredr, the corpses' personal items that they had been buried with were still in evidence close by: bronze bracelets, bone buttons and some bronze weapons. Also found were small pots, pottery vases and a carved bone stopper, which was part of a container holding the human hair of some of the dead, a common burial ritual in this period. The shape of the naveta is similar to an upturned boat (“nave” in Spanish), hence the name given to this type of monument. The main entrance of the naveta leads to a small passageway that runs towards the upper chamber and also to a second entrance leading to the lower chamber. The middle floor and the upper roof are both built from huge stone slabs that act as beams. Visitors are not permitted to go into the naveta or climb onto it for safety and conservation reasons.

A Menorcan folk tale

Rural life
The Es Tudons naveta and the S’Amador well.
Two young gentlemen were courting the same girl and they were both such gentlemen that she couldn’t choose between them, which made things rather difficult. So, to help her decide, they agreed to undertake an enterprise befitting such ardent admirers and such a lovely girl: one of them would build a stone naveta, made from chiselled and hewn stone, on the Tudons plain; the other would drill a well very close by until he found water. The first one to complete his task would marry the girl.
Building a stone naveta like the one at Es Tudons is a true work of giants; and to drill a well in the countryside around Ciutadella, where the rock is hard and the water so deep down, you need courage and valour. The two suitors, like good friends and despite being obsessed with their task, spent every evening with the girl.
Each day they would toil away at their work: one clutching his drill and the other collecting and carrying stones that he would cut and shape and then place on the naveta he was building.
On each trip to and from the pile of stones, he would pass his rival and ask how work was going. When he brought back the last stone he couldn't see his rival. He peered into the well and asked the same question as usual; the other suitor replied from deep inside the well that he had just found water. A flash of jealousy blinded the naveta builder and in his fury he threw the stone he was carrying into the well.
That evening, only one suitor went to the girl’s house, the one building the naveta.
The missing suitor was found the next day, lifeless inside the well, cruched by a squared block of stone. The other young man was never seen again. The naveta is still unfinished to this day, with one stone missing.
The well is still known as the Drilled Well or the Lovers’ Well and if you look at the shaft, it has spiral grooves, as if the well had been gouged out or drilled by giants. It can be found at the halfway point between Ses Arenes, Son Quart and Ses Angoixes.

Francesc Camps i Mercadal

More information:

Location: Carretera Maó - Ciutadella, km 40
Town: Ciutadella
Owned by: Private
Managed by: Fundació Foment del Turisme de Menorca
Telephone: +34 971 157 800
Website:
Parking: Available
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