previous next

POLLENTIA (Alcudia de Pollensa) Majorca, Spain.

Town 8 km from Pollensa on the bay of that name. Like Palma, according to Strabo (3.5.1), it was founded in 123-122 B.C. by Caecilius Metellus Balearicus with 3000 Roman colonists. It was a colonia with some sort of special status, since Pollentia and Palma were the only colonies outside of Italy ascribed to the tribus Vellina. It flourished in the heyday of the Empire, was partially destroyed in the second half of the 3d c., and totally obliterated ca. A.D. 435.

Excavation began in the NW sector close to the city wall, and nothing is known as yet of the central area where the forum, temples, and main public buildings must have been. The chief remains now uncovered are the W city wall, a small theater, and a series of buildings which have helped in reconstructing the city's history. The numerous small finds—sculpture, inscriptions, ceramics, and coins—are in the local museum, in Palma, and in the National Museum in Madrid. The city must have been of considerable importance, extending from the open fields of Alcudia to the sea. Four phases can be recognized.

In Phase I circular structures of roughly hewn stone and plentiful native pottery marked the pre-Roman Talayot settlement. Phase II was on the level of the foundation of the Roman town of the end of the 2d c. B.C. and included house walls beneath the so-called House of the Bronze Head, as well as Campanian, Iberian, and pre-Arretine pottery. Phase III, ca. 100-60 B.C., is attested by a construction of squared blocks in the same location. Phase IV, lasting from the Augustan period to the destruction ca. A.D. 435, included the House of the Bronze Head (34 x 8 m). The N section and part of the E area are preserved, comprising a central peristyle 15 m long, with five aligned columns and a covered portico, adjoined by living rooms. The House of the Two Treasures (23 x 20 m), also of the Augustan period, has a small peristyle, 7 by 4 m. The rooms grouped around the peristyle are either paved or floored with heavily tamped earth. Between the two houses runs a street with a portico 3 m high. Among minor finds now dispersed, was some excellent sculpture, such as a veiled head of Augustus.


A. García y Bellido, “Esculturas romanas de Pollentia (La Alcudia, Mallorca),” ArchEspArq 24 (1951) 53ff; id., “Las colonias romanas de Hispania,” Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español 29 (1959) 458; M. Tarradell et al., “Las excavaciones de la ciudad romana de Pollentia (Alcudia, Mallorca),” VII Congreso Nacional de Arqueología (1960) 469ff; A. Arribas et al., “Pollentia: I. Excavaciones en Sa Portella, Alcudia (Mallorca),” Excavaciones Arqueológicas en España 75 (1973).


hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: