Son Real is an archaeological site located on the northeast coast of Mallorca in Spain. This site contains some of the most important prehistoric remains in the Balearic Islands. It is a key archaeological center in the local area and provides an intriguing glimpse into the past.
Originally, Son Real had been a natural cove protected by a rocky peninsula which allowed for human habitation since at least the middle of the 5th millennium. This is evidenced by the excavation of several burials, one of which even contained a gold statuette from the Bronze Age. The settlement which eventually grew up around it was mainly focused on farming and fishing but some evidence suggests that the site was also active in transoceanic trading.
The site consists of three different areas - The Upper Area, The Eastern Area, and The Southern Area. The Upper Area is the oldest part of the site and includes the remains of a talayotic village which dates to the Late Bronze Age. The Eastern Area is a Roman fish-salting complex established in the 1st century BCE. The Southern Area contains a cemetery, the remains of a Roman villa and a set of walls from the 14th to 16th centuries. All three areas are united by a series of natural rocky formations which form a kind of defensive barrier along the coast.
The site was first recognized as an important archaeological site by the mid-nineteenth century, when local historians recognized the importance of the ruins. In 1940, the Spanish Ministry of Culture declared it an archaeological site and began systematic excavations. In 2001, the Son Real Archaeological Zone was declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest by the government.
Presently, the site contains an exhibition hall, an auditorium, and a path which leads to the excavation areas. It is open to the public and guided visits can be requested in advance, as well as activities such as mobile workshops and archaeological talks. The site also contains a rich variety of biodiversity, making it a great spot to observe, study, and appreciate all of the natural wonders it has to offer.