In November last year the Guardia Civil were called to a property in Crestatx, Sa Pobla after human remains had been unearthed during some building work. Investigators soon determined that the remains were not recent. The Council of Majorca's heritage department then took charge of excavations. They are continuing, but meanwhile the remains of 64 people have been found.
Carbon dating and DNA testing will seek to give as an exact date as possible to the remains, but it has already been established that they are from the period of the Muslim occupation of Majorca. This began at the start of the tenth century and ended with the conquest of 1229.
It is believed that the Crestatx site may prove to be one of the most important burial grounds ever found in Spain. This is because of the number of bodies that have been discovered. It is quite possible that there are more. The remains are said to be in a decent state of preservation despite their age. Most of the bodies, it is understood, were of children.
The building work at the property on the calle Claveller was brought to a halt in November, and it is obviously hasn't restarted. Any request for a licence to do work on the Crestatx estate will now require archaeological sampling. The Council of Majorca may establish a large perimeter around the burial site so that excavation can be extended.
Sa Pobla's mayor, Biel Ferragut, is already sensing a tourism opportunity from the necropolis burial site. He wants to create a route of the thirty archaeological sites in the municipality, and the Crestatx find would clearly have pride of place.
The mayor intends discussing this with the Council of Majorca's vice-president for culture, Francesc Miralles, when he goes to Crestatx on Monday. The town hall will also be requesting copies of photographic and documentary material related to the excavation and be seeking permission for schools to visit the site.
* Because of the importance of the find, consideration is already being given to the possible expropriation of the site. The Council of Majorca and archaeologists believe that there may also be evidence of a Muslim settlement. The Muslim name for the Sa Pobla area was Huayar-al fas (water meadow), which led to the original name of Sa Pobla d'Huialfàs. It is known that Crestatx was a settlement in the years after the conquest and it has in fact been suggested that its inhabitants were relocated when Sa Pobla was established as a "vila" at the start of the fourteenth century.