On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca in Spain lie the remains of a Byzantine settlement, known as Son Peretó, where archaeological excavations are underway. Inhabited from the 5th century CE to about the 7th century CE, Son Peretó was home to a Christian population and is perhaps the most significant Byzantine settlement in the islands. What makes the site so interesting to archaeologists is its importance as an example of early Christian architecture. The site features a baptistery and a basilica, and a number of human remains in noteworthy condition have been revealed.
“The current project,” write the Son Peretó project staff, “managed by the Manacor Historical Museum and the University of Barcelona, began in 2005, and since then our goal has been to preserve and restore the ruins uncovered during the 20th-century excavations, especially the foundations of several walls and untouched graves. So far the graves uncovered have been found in excellent condition.”*
The dig has been a continuous effort, and every summer Son Peretó yields new discoveries. The leaders of the excavation are calling for dig participants who will help the archaeologists acquire a higher understanding of the baptistery and the basilica. “This coming year we will focus on the excavation and restoration of the rooms next to the baptistery’s apse, and there is a good chance we’ll also be digging inside the church (known as the basilica),” state project director Magdalena Sala Buguera and colleagues.*
There are five spots still available. Spanish or Catalonian will not be prerequisites for participation but there will be an immersion in the local language and an opportunity to learn. After the day’s work, there will be time to relax by the Mediterranean in a café. The group will also have the opportunity to visit other archaeological sites of Roman, Moorish, Talaiotic, and Medieval influence. A boat trip to the island of Cabrera, one of the most beautiful sites in the Mediterranean, is a highlight of the program.
The site is a 20-minute drive from lodging at Port Nou, where the group will sleep in a four bedroom accommodation by the sea, complete with a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and a well for fresh water.
More information can be found at this website.
Cover photo credit ArchaeoSpain.
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