Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Stamps with Rock Dust - Update

Category - Touch
Subcategory - Stamps with matter affixed - Rock dust      

Spain 2014 Ancient Cultures Menorca Talayótica Stone Monuments 

Issue date 01 Oct 2014

Spain Postal Authority Correos has issued a new stamp series devoted to Ancient Cultures which commemorates the settlers that occupied the Iberian Peninsula and the island territories thousands of years ago.

 The Talayotic settlements and the Torretrencada taula stone monument, in Menorca, are excellent examples of these ancestral cultures. An innovative aspect of the stamp is that it is encrusted with a small amount of limestone dust from the area where the monuments are found.

The island of Menorca has been populated since ancient times. Some historians date the existence of caves and burial sites in coastal precipices and cliffs back to the Iron Age, recognising different stages in the island’s history. The monuments most characteristic of the ancient cultures that populated the island are the talaiots, taulas and navetas.

A naveta is a megalithic burial monument, a collective ossuary, whose name is derived from its exterior resemblance to an upturned boat. Their floor plan is usually elongated, ending in an apse containing an inner chamber. These monuments indicate the existence of settlements. The most famous is the naveta des Tudons, near the town of Ciutadella.

The Talayotic culture, as represented by settlements with cyclopean, or mortar-free, stone monuments, is unique to the islands of Mallorca and Menorca. A talaiot is essentially a large, cone-shaped tower with a small inner chamber. These monuments can be found either in isolated spots or grouped within the settlements. There are some doubts as to their function, given that no complete structure stands to make it possible to assess it reliably. They could be guard towers for defensive purposes that simultaneously served funeral aims. It also seems probable that they were the centre of the dwellings of the tribe chieftains, whose units were placed along the outer edges. They could have a circular, oval or square floor plan. There are more than 200 of these monuments in Menorca. 

The taulas are distinctive monuments unique to the island of Menorca. Each one consists of a massive cut stone set into the ground and topped by another in a horizontal position, forming a capital “T.” It is thought that they might be supports for architectural structures or be for a merely religious purpose.

The Torretrencada taula, in the Talayotic settlement of the same name, has a reinforcement pillar at the back, but the walls of the site have disappeared almost completely. It was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1966.

(Subject matter taken from the Spanish Philatelic Website - Beautiful descriptions of the ancient structures which I felt needed to described as is. Hope to visit it someday.)

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Stamps with Rock Dust

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