Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 24, No 2 (2011)

From Roman to Byzantine: The Rural Occupation of Eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands)

Catalina Mas Florit, Miguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros
Issued Date: 2 Dec 2011


This paper explores the Late Antique occupation of rural territories in the eastern part of the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands). Data and ceramics from several old field surveys have been re-analysed and different spatial analyses have been carried out in order to understand better the settlement patterns in this area of variable geomorphology, which includes plains, hills and coastlands. Evidence of Late Roman, Vandal and Byzantine occupation is discussed. The study of the ceramic materials enables us to investigate differences between the various historical periods of Late Antiquity on the island. The results show a significant decrease of occupied sites in the Late Roman period as compared to Early Roman times, and a slight recovery through the Vandal and Byzantine periods. The paper also explores the phenomenon of the re-occupation of pre-Roman indigenous sites, the continuity or discontinuity of Roman sites and new foundations in previously unoccupied locations. Overall, the results allow us to produce a first impression of the countryside in this area of Mallorca, in which a remarkable degree of continuity in site location coexists with a range of changes in the nature and appearance of rural settlement.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v24i2.191


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