Just beyond Artà proper lies the remains of a 3000-year-old Bronze Age settlement, the largest and most important Talayotic site on the island's eastern flank. The site's looming stone gateway, composed of rough, 8-tonne slabs, is an impressive transition into the mystery-shrouded world of prehistoric Mallorca. You can traverse the tree-shaded site in under 30 minutes, but may appreciate a longer visit. From the large roundabout east of Artà's tourist office, follow the signs towards Ses Païsses.
We know little about the inhabitants' social or religious lives, but security was clearly an issue: they lived behind a double ring of stone walls, built between 650 BCE and 540 BCE. Within them, small stone houses were built in a circular pattern around a central atalaia (watchtower). This was a centre of some size – the walls' perimeter extends 320m – but was abandoned after the Romans arrived in 123 BCE.