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The town of Alcúdia in Majorca - The Roman ruins of Pollentia

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IntroductionIntroduction

General presentationGeneral presentation
The Roman ruins of Pollentia are the most important archaeological site from Roman times to the island of Majorca, and the only one that can be visited. The Roman city was founded in the first century BC and was the capital of Majorca and all the Balearic Islands during the Roman domination.

The archaeological site is located on the outskirts of the city of Alcúdia, in the County of Raiguer, north of Mallorca.

EtymologyEtymology and toponymy
The name of Pollentia the Latin meaning "powerful", the word "pollen" strong, powerful, the verb "pollere" be strong. The name of Pollentia was given to the city by its founder, the Roman consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus.
After a fire in the third century AD, and after the invasion of the Vandals in the fifth century, a part of the population left the city and went to found a new colony took Pollentia name and is now called Pollença. This caused some confusion for centuries about the location of Pollentia.

During the Muslim occupation, the Roman city - which was little more than a memory - was named Bullansa.

In Catalan Spanish Pollentia writes Pol·lèntia.

LocationLocation

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Majorca - Situation of Roman ruins near the church of Saint James (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the image
The Roman colony was founded Pollentia a strategic location on the isthmus of the peninsula separating the two large bays of Alcúdia and Pollença, near the strait between the island of Mallorca in the island of Menorca. Both bays are protected from the prevailing winds from the north-west by the mountains of the peninsula of Cap de Formentor and provide excellent shelter. This position allowed Pollentia control the sea routes of the western Mediterranean between Rome and Italy to the Roman provinces of Hispania.

The Roman city of Pollentia had two harbors, one located north of the bay of Pollença and the other, the largest port of the two ports, located south of the city, along the current port of Alcúdia, Port d'Alcúdia. Both ports knew an important commercial activity.

The few remains of Pollentia is outside the medieval walls of modern Alcúdia, facing the church of St. James (Església de Sant Jaume).

VisitsVisits

Ancient siteThe Roman city of Pollentia
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - General plan of the ruins - Click to enlarge the imageThe Roman city of Pollentia was founded in the second quarter of the first century BC. At its peak Pollentia had at least 300 m from east to west and 600 m from north to south, covering an area of 18 hectares. So it was a colony of average importance in terms of size, compared with other colonies of Roman Spain (Hispania) which had the following areas: Barcinum (Barcelona), 13 ha Dertosa (Tortosa), 12 ha Ilici (Elche), 12 ha Lucentum (Alicante), 10-14 ha Emporion (Ampurias), 21 ha Tarraco (Tarragona), 70 ha Emerita (Mérida), 100 ha Corduba (Cordoba) 70 ha Caesar Augusta (Zaragoza), 50 ha.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Finca on the site Pollentia - Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab)Almost all the stones of the site have been looted by the people over the centuries, and it is no longer possible to discern the layout of the ancient capital. In 1963, the Spanish government declared protected archaeological site land covering the Roman city: no building can now be made. In 1973, the state began the process of expropriation and bought individual fields; far eighteen properties were purchased by the state, only six are still privately owned.

The tour begins on the north by the ruins of the residential area of "Sa Portella", especially by the so-called houses of the "Bronze Head" and the "Two Treasures" excavated from 1957 to 1962, 200 m south lies the ruins of the forum, which was the subject of a series of excavations in the early 1980s, and there discovered the foundations of civil and religious buildings, the most important is the temple dedicated to the triad Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. On the southern outskirts of the city we visit the small Roman amphitheater from the early first century BC.

After the visit to the archaeological site, one can visit the Monographic Museum of Pollentia, located nearby, which has most of the objects discovered Pollentia.

NeighborhoodResidential Neighborhood of Portella (Barri Residencial de Sa Portella / Barrio Residencial de Sa Portella)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map of Sa Portella area - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map of Sa Portella area - Click to enlarge the imageThe residential area of Sa Portella is located in the extreme north of the Roman city of Pollentia. It follows a typical Roman city plan with two main perpendicular streets that intersect at right angles, forming islands of houses (insulae): the cardo, oriented north-south, called Carrer Nord-Sud, and decumanus east-west, called Carrer Porticat (the street of the portico), a colonnaded street.

Excavations - between 1957 and 1961 - unearthed the ruins of three houses on either side of these paths: northeast, the best preserved house, the House of Two Treasures, south-east, House of the Bronze Head, largely curtailed, northwest, the House Northwest, amputated by the construction of a defensive wall, to the south-west was to find a fourth house has completely disappeared.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Sa Portella Plan - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The Carrer Porticat (decumanus) and North West House (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe district of Sa Portella was built during the republican period of Rome, but was renovated during the imperial period (late first century BC - first century AD), at the height of the city of Pollentia. In the third century a fortified wall was built around the nucleus of Sa Portella, a part of the wall is still visible.

Sa Portella was a patrician residential neighborhood other houses, humble, were near the forum or in other parts of the city of Pollentia. South of Sa Portella was a fourth house, known as the House of Polyhymnia.

The city of Pollentia had no fortifications, for its protection it relied on its island location and its distance from the sea, 1.5 km from the Bay of Alcúdia and 2.5 km Bay of Pollença. It was not until the late third century AD a defensive wall was built around the district of Sa Portella in the northwest corner of the city.

The wall consisted of two walls of large stones, which the interval was filled with small stones and earth. The outer wall was composed of nine layers of stones, irregularly arranged. A section of the wall is kept and has a length of one hundred meters and does not include gate or tower, the wall bisects the House of the Northwest, indicating that the wall was not built to protect that a small enclave of the city outside the walls were many empty houses. Attempts to discover the remains of the wall in the fields located south of Sa Portella were unsuccessful.

During the crisis of the third century the population of the city retreated to this small enclave, suggesting a decline in the population of Pollentia. The wall did not prevent the city from being taken and destroyed by the Vandals.

HouseThe House of the Two Treasures (Casa dels Dos Tresors / Casa de los Dos Tesoros)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Roman Sestertius of the time of Trajan Decius - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Plan of the House of Two Treasures - Click to enlarge the imageThe first house encountered during the visit is the House of Two Treasures, located north of the district of Sa Portella. It is located north of the House of the Bronze Head which it is separated by the street in Portico, the Roman decumanus, 3.75 m wide.

The House of Two Treasures owes its name to the discovery of two pieces of treasures discovered copper in two different parts of the house during excavations between 1958 and 1960. The first treasure includes coins of the third century AD: eighteen coin purse including the portrait of the emperor Caracalla (188 AD - 217 AD) until sesterces (249-251) to the effigy of the Emperor Trajan Decius (Trajan Decius) (201 AD - 251 AD). The second treasure dates from the late fourth century AD. These treasures were probably hidden in times of great danger.

The House of Two Treasures is the best preserved of the three houses (domus) uncovered Sa Portella. In addition to the two sets of currencies, the search produced many archaeological material and its state permit to distinguish the different parts of its structure.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The facade of the House of Two Treasures on decumano (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageIt is a rectangular building, 20 meters in length in the north-south axis and 22.50 m wide in the east-west, covering an area of ​​450 m². The house had a stone foundation sandstone (marès) jointed with mortar and clay brick walls, it must have mosaic floors and stucco colors on the walls.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The House of Two Treasures in the district of Sa Portella - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The atrium of the House of Two Treasures (author Frank Vincentz) - Click to enlarge the imageThe house had the typical plan of the Roman domus: it was organized around a courtyard, the central atrium. Its main facade to the south, opened on the street of the Portico (Carrer Porticat / Calle Porticada) by a porch (called ostium), the columns that supported the front porch have been preserved. A portico ran along the front of the house.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The catchment area of the House of Two Treasures in the neighborhood of the Portella (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageFrom the porch, vestibule (vestibulum) led to the atrium in the access space at home there was usually little altars and representations of protective deities of the house. The atrium - 7 m by  4 m - was covered with a compluvium that collected rainwater in the impluvium surrounded by four columns (rectified by a recent restoration), there was an opening in the center to let light.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The rear of the House of Two Treasures in the district of Sa Portella - Click to enlarge the imageTen pieces were arranged around the atrium, each room had a specific function:

  • in the center, facing the hall, was the tablinum where the householder (dominus) working and receiving visitors;
  • on the left, northwest, a large triclinum or dining room (the triclinum was divided into four parts during a later period) dishes of triclinum wearing different names depending on its use: for vasa escaria food, vasa potoria for drinking, and vasa ministeria for the service, but often the Romans ate outside in the atrium;
  • The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The cubicles of the left wing of the House of Two Treasures, seen from the cardo (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Atrium and cubicles of the right wing of the House of Two Treasures in the district of Sa Portella - Click to enlarge the imageon the sides of the atrium was the most intimate parts, cubicula (a cubiculum was a bedroom) and lavatoria or bathrooms;
  • other parts have been identified: the kitchen (culina) and cellar (despensa) where provisions were stored in amphorae. Dishes used in the culina, consisting of utensils used for cooking, food preparation and cleaning, called vasa coquinaria.

Parts - quite broad - were on the right wing of the house (ala), no communication with the rest of the house, it was reached from the street that ran along the island to the east, according to the materials which have been discovered, one must be a shop (taberna), probably leased by the owner of the house.

La Casa dels Dos Tresors was built in the first century AD, at the time of Emperor Augustus in the following centuries, it underwent several renovations. The house suffered damage in the third quarter of the third century, and experienced erratic occupation until the end of the fourth century or early fifth century AD.

HouseThe House of the Bronze Head (Casa del Cap de Bronze / Casa de la Cabeza de Bronce)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Head of a Girl Bronze - Click to enlarge the imageThe second house that we encounter is the House's Head Bronze and is located south of the House of Two Treasures in the same block (insula), but on the other side of the street in Portico (Carrer Porticat / Calle Porticada) decumanus of the Roman city.

The house takes its name from the discovery of a bronze head of a young girl (Cap de Nina / Cabeza de Niña) the bronze head was discovered in a pile of garbage in a room north of the house. This small head - 14.4 cm - is dated second century AD, it is exposed to Monographic Museum of Pollentia.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - House's Head Bronze (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe House's Head Bronze was partially amputated by an unfinished construction project in Alcúdia, a terminal station of the railway Palma to Inca in 1936. The southern part of this magnificent house has disappeared, only eight rooms arranged around a courtyard with a portico of ten columns were in good enough condition to be searched. The house also included two shops (tabernae), one facing North-South (Carrer Nord-Sud / Calle Norte-Sur) street and the other on the street along the east side of the insula.

Archaeologists date the construction of the House's Head Bronze middle of the first century BC, during the Republican era, and was renovated in urban pinnacle of the city, the Imperial period (late first century BC - I century AD), and continued to be occupied until the fourth century AD when it was abandoned after a fire.

HouseThe Northwest House (Casa North oest / Casa Noroeste)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The House of Northwest in the district of Sa Portella - Click to enlarge the imageTo the west of the cardo, the other side of the north-south street, opposite the House of Two Treasures, was a third house, called House Northwest. It was an atrium style house with six rooms on the north of the atrium in the center of the atrium was a colonnaded impluvium, north of the house were two small shops (tabernae) overlooking the street North-South.

The three houses Portella, North West House is one whose remains are less well preserved, in fact, the house was amputated by the construction of a defensive wall in the last quarter of the third century AD, a part of the wall, 5 m wide, was built on the foundations of the house, cutting it in half by a line passing through the west of the impluvium area and behind the back wall of a boutique line. There is only a fragment of the wall here.

HouseThe House of Polyhymnia
The House of Polyhymnia is south of Sa Portella. It takes its name from a mural that would have been recognized as a representation of the muse Polyhymnia, one of the muses of poetry. This home is awaiting restoration and can not be visited.
SquareThe Forum (Fórum / Foro)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map Forum - Click to enlarge the imageThe Forum was the center of Roman public life of any city where exercising political, administrative and religious activities. Forum Pollentia is about 200 meters southeast of the residential area of the Portella, and 400 m north of the Roman theater. Previous excavations had uncovered a number of objects to suggest that the forum of the city was there, known as Ca'n Reynés property at a place called Camp d'en França.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - pedestal of the statue of Lucius Vibius (author JA Baeyens) - Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab)Thus, a motto, inscribed on the stele honorary pedestal - 94 cm high, 59 cm wide and 54 cm thick - white marble, was discovered 19 November 1862 on the grounds of Camp d'en França:

L[UCIO] VIBIO L[UCII] FIL[IO] VEL[INA TRIBU] NIGELLIONI AEDIL[I] IIVIRO BIS MARITO OPTIMO SUO MANLIA FABIANA UXOR ET VIBI MANLIANI FIL[II] NOMINE SUA PECUNIA POSUIT L[OCUS] D[ATUS] D[ECRETO] D[ECURIONUM]

"To Lucius Lucius Vibius of the tribe Velina Nigellius, aedile and duumvir for her excellent husband by his wife Fabiana Manlia and on behalf of his son Vibius Manlianus with her money was erected, in a place given by decree of the decurions. "

CIBal 27 (Corpus de las inscripciones baleáricas hasta la dominación árabe).

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Forum - Click to enlarge the imageThe property Ca'n Reynés was purchased by the Government, and in 1980, excavations began Pollentia Forum. The discovery of the foundations of public buildings and fragments of inscriptions confirmed that it was the forum, the heart of the life of the Roman city. The ruins of several buildings were identified: a main temple built on the model of the Capitol in Rome, two minor dedicated to unknown gods shrines, a gate behind which were shops (tabernae), a building that can match the curia and cetera. We also found many honorary inscriptions, some of which are now displayed at the Museum of monographic Pollentia.

The construction of the Forum began around the beginning of the first century BC, the Capitol and the shops of the West were the first buildings. Four years later, the forum area was destroyed by a great fire in the late third century AD, around the year 270 to 280, but continued, it seems, to be used in the fourth century. In the middle of the fifth century a fortress was built, who used the stones of the old buildings. During the High Middle Ages, the area of the forum was abandoned and used extensive necropolis.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Attempt to reconstruct the forum - Click to enlarge the imageç Attempt to reconstruct the forum in the fifth century AD with the fortified at the bottom.

The forum site was opened to the public in 2002, but archaeological excavations continue during the summer months, and we can see now protected from the weather by tarpaulins areas, some remnants of buildings have been discovered by the consolidated concrete to prevent further erosion.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Wells Forum - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Wells Forum - Click to enlarge the image
Ancient TempleThe Capitol (Capitoli / Capitolino)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The Capitol (author Frank Vincentz) - Click to enlarge the imageThe main building on the forum Pollentia was the Capitol, which was in the middle of the north side of the square.

Most of the stone blocks from the Capitol building were stolen for reuse: the ruins of the temple uncovered only retain the podium, the foundations of the north wall, and parts of the east and west walls, and the foundations of cellae three columns of the pronaos. The walls were made of clay bricks, mounted above sandstone foundations. The architrave and roof were made of wood. The podium of the temple was about 23 m by 17 m.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Attempt to reconstruct the Capitol - Click to enlarge the imageThese remains are sufficient to reconstruct the general plan of the building. The Capitol Pollentia was a temple with three cells (cellae) can be dedicated to Jupiter (cella in the middle, larger) and Juno and Minerva (side cellae), classical Capitoline Triad. The cellae were preceded by a vestibule (narthex) double colonnade, a colonnade of four columns in front, and a colonnade of two columns behind. On the south side (front) side walls are wider, leaving a space where it could have been a staircase.

ç test reconstruction of Capitol and the small temple I on the island of shops in the west, in the first century AD.

The Capitol Pollentia date of the first century AD, although its provision is a bit archaic for this time. He began to fall apart in the third century, but cellae perhaps remained in use in the fourth century.

It should be noted that no early Christian tomb was excavated in the area of the Capitol, where there were rows of graves to the south, east and north of the temple.

Ancient TempleThe Small Temple I, the Small Temple II and Shelter
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map small temple 1 - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map small temple 2 - Click to enlarge the imageAt 4 m east of the Capitol was a rectangular building - 10 m in the north-south direction and 6.5 m in the east-west direction. This construction is considered a small temple dedicated to an unknown god, designated as the small temple I, but could also have been the basis of an equestrian statue because a horse's head in bronze and bronze hand were discovered in 1927. There remains only the lower part of the foundation, in its west wall you can see the filling technique.

Nearby was found a crest sandstone decorative plant.

Near this building fragments of a dedicatory inscription have been discovered:

"AVG[VSTI] LEG[ATUS] PRO PR[AETORE] F[ACIENDUM] C[VRAVIT] […]RO LEG[…] DEDICAVIT"

(The legate of Augustus as praetor was erected…)

Petit called the Temple II building is 8.70 m south of Temple I Small. It is a rectangular building, east-west, and has a base molding of about 40 cm on the south and east sides of the building.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The shrine Forum (author JA Baeyens) - Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab)Southwest of the Capitol are two bases of statues and the base of a rectangular building - 5.40 m by 3.50 m.

This construction is interesting in that it is the only site structure whose sides are oriented to the cardinal points, while the city map is oriented south-east to north-northeast.

Archaeologists suggest that this building was the former altar of the city set up at its inception. If this is the case, this altar is the oldest building on the forum.

Another hypothesis is that it would be a auguraculum, a temple where the augurs made their predictions by observing the sky and the birds were indeed the auguracula oriented according to the cardinal points.

ShopThe Forum Shops
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The West forum, street Portico (Carrer Porticat) forum and the shops of the West forum - Click to enlarge the imageOn the west side of the forum, there was a merchant and artisan district, separated from the public square by a street Portico (Carrer Porticat), which there are some column bases. Four shops (tabernae) - Two northwest and two south-west - were in front of the Capitol, on the other side of the street. Discloses the use of these buildings as shops from objects that were discovered: for example, in the third shop, archaeologists found a complete set of weight scales in stone.

Discovered a staircase between the two stores in northern and southern two stores indicates that it was building a floor. Each store had a wide entrance from the portico of the forum, except for the second shop north thresholds stores were dug to receive a wooden door.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Island of shops north of the forum (author Frank Vincentz) - Click to enlarge the imageThe beginning of the construction of these shops dates of the Republican era, in the late second century BC, and their use lasted until the third century AD, when there was a terrible fire that could be the cause the abandonment of the forum.

Other stores and workshops were in the streets (Carrer Oest) at the rear of the four shops. Shops south west was a large paving, said "opus sectile" (stone inlay), approximately 8 m by 7.50 m. The stone walls surrounding the paving were all stolen, and it is difficult to know which building it was, perhaps the curia.

North of the Capitol was a large street, and on the north side of the street, there was another group of shops. Only one of these shops and part of another were searched. Between the shops and the temple, there was a massive rectangular tower built with reused blocks, many of which could come from the Capitol. The tower was part of a fortification system that was started, but perhaps never completed, and that archaeologists have tentatively dated to the late fifth century.

RampartThe Walled enclosure (Recinte Fortificat / Recinto Fortificado)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Plan fortified late - Click to enlarge the imageFrom the fifth century BC, was built to the north of the island shops and west of the Capitol, a defensive enclosure. The identified to date section covers an area of ​​about 50 m long in the east-west direction and 45 m wide.

The wall is made of two walls of hewn stone blocks well, some recycled from earlier buildings. In some sections the wall encroaches on existing structures such as the walls of the north side of the island shops west of the forum, or on the north wall of the Capitol.

On the north side of the wall stands a massive rectangular tower, with three clearly defined sides (east, north and west). The north side of the tower is about 4.80 m in length, while the east and west sides are about 3.20 m.

TheaterThe Roman Theatre (Teatre Romà / Teatro Romano)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The Roman Theatre - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The Roman Theatre - Click to enlarge the imageThe Roman theater Pollentia is 400 m southeast of the forum, about 600 meters from the site entrance Pollentia (10 min walk). The theater was probably on the outskirts of Pollentia - outside the settlement area of the Roman city - but it was located in a great location between the Bay of Alcúdia, in the east, and the Bay of Pollença, in west, on the neck of the isthmus of the peninsula called Cape Pine Grove (Cap des Pinar) from the stands we had a view of the sea, and the theater was probably visible from the sea

The theater was dug on the slope of a hill, taking advantage of the natural topography to minimize excavation of the rock. Its construction is dated from the late first century BC or early first century AD, probably during the reign of Emperor Augustus. It is the smallest of twenty Roman theaters to survive in Spain.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Commemorative Stele excavations (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Map of the Roman theater - Click to enlarge the imageUntil excavations, from 1953, by Bryant Foundation, scholars thought it was an amphitheater, that is to say, a Greek theater.

The excavations allowed to reveal its structure, which includes the three basic elements of a Roman theater, slightly different from the Greek theater the bleachers (cavea and proedria) semi-circular plan, the general public, the orchestra (orchestra), which is also semi-circular to senior judges, the scene (scaena) square, occupied by actors. Objects unearthed by excavations refer to the playful world of theater masks or token for accessing representations.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The Roman Theatre - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The location of the scene of the Roman theater (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe scene (scaena) and the foreground (proscenium), rectangular, there are only five rectangular holes which were inserted wooden posts that supported them. The scene was slightly elevated compared to the orchestra, a work permit to ride the orchestra of the proscenium and stage.

The orchestra (orchestra) was located between the bleachers and the stage, it was destined for senior judges. The orchestra was semicircular shape - with a diameter of 9.50 m (28 Roman feet 30 cm).

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Theatre Pollentia (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe cavea consisted of eleven steps, divided between:
  • the cavea prima, nearest the stage for the notables;
  • the cavea media in the middle, typically for men;
  • the cavea summa, located in the upper part for women and children.

The cavea prima consisted of three rows of seats with backs, the first row was made ​​of sandstone blocks, the other two dug into the rock, the cavea prima was separated from the other stands by an ambulatory (praecinctio) wide 1 20 m. The cavea was divided into four sectors, or wedges (cunei) by three radial stairs that gave access to the bleachers. It is possible that a canopy protecting the public from the sun or rain.

The Roman theater Pollentia was a smaller structure, adapted to the population of the city: the stands were 16 m (54 Roman feet) radius. Assuming a seat held from 40 to 50 cm wide, it is estimated that the theater could accommodate 600 to 800 spectators.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Theatre Pollentia (author Olaf Tausch) - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Tombs of the Roman theater - Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab)The theater was abandoned in the fourth century AD when the city was invaded by the Vandals. It was then used until the end of the Roman empire, as necropolis tombs trapezoidal were carved into the rock at the location of the scene and in the upper tiers.
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - cave dug under the Roman theater - Click to enlarge the imageThe ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - cave dug under the Roman theater - Click to enlarge the imageBehind the bleachers we notice a cave: This cave date of the pre-talayotic time and served as a burial place.

After the end of the Roman Empire, it served as a barn, on the sides you can see troughs carved into the rock, the holes in the ceiling - to let in the light - also date from this period.

MuseumThe Pollentia Monographic Museum (Museu monogràfic of Pollentia / Museo Monografico de Pollentia)
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Majorca - The monographic museum Pollentia (author JA Baeyens) - Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab)The monographic museum Pollentia is installed since 1987 in a medieval military hospital (S'Hospitalet) built by Jaume II in the early fourteenth century (1301), located in the neighborhood of the church of St. James in the historic center Alcúdia. It is a division of the Museum of Mallorca, but it is managed by the Consortium of the Roman city of Pollentia (Consortium de la Ciutat Romana de Pol.lèntia). "Monographic" means that it is devoted exclusively to the Roman city of Pollentia. It was created to bring together the archaeological discoveries made ​​Pollentia, mainly since 1926, most of the exhibits date from the first century to the second century AD, the peak period of the Roman city.

In 2006, the museum was reorganized into two themes: Pollentia public life and privacy.

The public domain is divided into three areas: civic life on the forum, shows and the funeral world.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Torso of Roman general museum Pollentia - Click to enlarge the imageCivic life is illustrated by large white marble sculptures from the forum, inscriptions and architectural elements. Among the sculptures can be seen Torso (Thoracato) sculpture of a general or an emperor wearing military armor, decorated with a mythological motif, and paludamentum (military cloak), a bust of the Emperor Augustus, the veiled head uncovered in the seventeenth century, a copy of the first century AD, the Eros of Lysippos of Sikyon (Lisippo) or a Roman matron. A fine head girl bronze (second century AD) comes from the house of the Head of Bronze in Sa Portella.

Of bronze inscriptions are of particular interest: a tabula patronatus, dating from 10 BC, discovered in 1951 in Pollença, which is a legal document by which the city of Bocchoris (or Bocchorum), a city - close to the current Port Pollensa - existing to the Roman occupation and federated with Rome, recognizes its liability to the Roman consul Marcus Crassus, another tabula patronatus, dating from the year 6 AD, discovered in 1765, which recognizes Bocchoris Marcus Atilius as his boss; third entry is a funeral praise of a pankration wrestler from Pollentia, Cornelius Atticus.

The performances are illustrated by several theater masks, the funeral world of precious funerary objects.

The private lives of Pollentia is illustrated by collections of everyday objects: kitchen utensils, oil lamps, jars, amphorae, crockery and kitchen table, vases bronze coins currency from different eras, jewelry, glassware, items used in weaving, fishing items, games, and even surgical instruments. There are also religious objects used in domestic worship.

KnowledgeHistory, geography, arts, traditions, flora…

HistoryHistory
Elected consul in 123 BC, Quintus Caecilius Metellus began the same year the conquest of the Balearic Islands to stop piracy which operated from the islands of Mallorca and Menorca. The Balearic resisted the Roman conquest for nearly 75 years, when mainland Spain (Hispania) was conquered in 206 BC.
According to Livy, the consul would have covered his ship skins to resist throwing stones famous Balearic slingers. After this conquest in 121 BC, it was a triumph in Rome and added his name to the nickname (agnomen) of Baliaricus or Balearicus. The Islands were annexed to the Roman Empire and incorporated in the province of Hispania Hither (Hispania Citerior).

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus brought 3000 Roman and Iberian settlers from mainland Spain and perhaps Italy, and settled in the colonies Pollentia (the "Powerful") to the north, and Palmaria (referring the palms of his triumph) in the south, the current Palma, each colony received 1,500 settlers. According to the historian of the first century AD, Pomponius Mela, Pollentia became the capital of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands, due to its strategic position on the sea routes.

However, the colony Pollentia was at first a Roman camp in charge of keeping the peace on the island. Archaeological findings suggest that there was no structured before the second quarter of the first century BC community. The colony was located 10 km southeast of the city of Aboriginal Bocchorum (near present Port de Pollença).

Pollentia only became a true Roman city between 80 and 60 BC, probably around 70 BC, that is to say 50 years after the Roman conquest. The nephew of the founder Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, no doubt contributed to the transformation of Pollentia cited in installing Majorca new settlers, veterans of the Roman army after its victory in the war against Sertorius (80-71 BC). The city of Pollentia was designed like many other Roman settlements: a public square in the center, the forum, with temples and shopping streets with shops (tabernae), and a theater. The rectangular houses residential areas included a courtyard (atrium), were decorated with marble, stucco and mosaics were the sewers and running water. Pollentia had a port that was south of the theater on the bay of Alcúdia. As in any Roman city cemeteries were banned in the perimeter of the city and were on the outskirts.

Pollentia experienced a new urban development during the reign of Emperor Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD) - at the turn of the first century BC and the first century AD - and probably reached an area of over 16 hectares. She was elevated to the status of a colony of Roman law, "colonia civium romanorum" and became the capital of the Roman province of Balearica.

The city reached its peak during the Roman Empire, the first and second centuries AD, but in the third quarter of the third century, a fire destroyed the city, a fortress was built around the residential area of Sa Portella. The decline continued for Pollentia the Roman Empire in the fourth century and especially in the fifth century after the invasion of the Vandals in 426 AD, who plundered and destroyed the city Pollentia Mallorca and became part of the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa until 534 AD, during which time the Catholic population of Majorca undergoing persecution by the Vandals followers of the Arian heresy.

From 534, the Byzantines conquered the Balearic Islands, Mallorca was annexed to the Byzantine Empire; Pollentia was no longer in the sixth century, a necropolis.

In the tenth century, the Moors occupied the Balearic Islands, in 902 AD, and created a colony called Al-Qudya ("hill") near the ancient Roman city of Pollentia, they called Bullansa, fell into oblivion.

Excavations
From the late sixteenth century, a Majorcan historian and mathematician, Father Joan Binimelis, proposed - in his History of Majorca (Història de Mallorca, 1593) - the ancient city of Pollentia lay in the fields around the chapel of Santa Ana south of Alcúdia. During the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, excavations were conducted, albeit with some irregularity. In the seventeenth century, a beautiful bust of Emperor Augustus, the head veiled, was accidentally discovered, many Latin inscriptions, and many Roman coins were also found in these areas. Despite these findings, scholars debated Mallorca, especially in the nineteenth century, whether Pollentia was located in Alcúdia or Port de Pollença - twelve kilometers west of Alcúdia - where Roman artifacts have also been found and retained the name Pollentia. A fragment of an inscription found on the site of Alcúdia in 1887 seemed to localize Pollentia.

The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia in Mallorca - Can The Domenech, head of the Foundation Bryant (author Homyr) - Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab)It was not until 1923 that began rigorous and systematic excavation work under the direction of Professor Gabriel Llabrés Quintana, from 1923 to 1927 and his son, from 1930 to 1936. Among the bronze objects that were discovered were a Roman standard of a young college (Collegium iuvenum) of the second or third century AD, a Aesculapius (Asclepius) and a horse's head, these objects are now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum (Museo Nacional Arqueológico) in Madrid. Excavations focused on the Camp d'en França among the almond orchards, where would be the forum of the city and area shops (tabernae).

In 1952, a U.S. foundation, the Fundación Hispanoamericana Bryant, bought the land located around the Roman theater, in 1953, the excavation of the theater district was systematically conducted. From 1957 to 1962 the excavations moved north to the area of Sa Portella, which was unearthed a residential area of the Roman city. Bryant Foundation financed the archaeological research Pollentia until 1997. In 1956, Bryant Foundation acquired a mansion in Alcúdia, the Can Domènech, to make a (Centro Arqueológico Hispano-Americano de las Islas Baleares) archaeological center, the Can Domenech is now the headquarters of the Consortium of the city Roman Pollentia (Consortium de la Ciutat Romana de Pol·lèntia), Carrer Major, 9, and it can not be visited.

Excavations Pollentia each year continues during the summer, especially on the forum months and are, since 2000, funded by the Consortium.

InformationPractical Information

Visiting hoursVisiting hours
The ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia Mallorca - Plan a visit - Click to enlarge the image
The entrance to the archaeological site of Pollentia is opposite the church of St. James, Avinguda dels Prínceps d'Espanya, s / n.

A concrete path connects the three excavation sites of Sa Portella, the Forum and the theater.

Summer hours (May to September): Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 to 20:00, closed on Mondays and holidays.

Winter hours (October to April): Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 14:00, closed on Mondays and closed days.

Entry fee: € 3. The ticket price includes a visit to the Monographic Museum of Pollentia.

Phone: 00 34 971 184 211

The monographic museum Pollentia is located Carrer Sant Jaume, 30, near the church of St. James.

It should be transferred to the Can Domènech whereabouts Museum Bryant Foundation in the 1980s.

Phone: 00 34 971 547 002

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