|Phoenician site of Sa Caleta|
Sa Caleta is the popular name of a port with dry dock huts for small fishing boats, on the south-southwest coast of Eivissa, between the northwesterly point of the large beach of Es Codolar and the Puig des Jondal. On Sa Caleta peninsula, it is likely that Phoenicians from the Iberian peninsula settled progressively from the 8th century BC until converting the entire space available into a large urban centre throughout the 7th century BC.
Today, the Sa Caleta site offers one of the most suggestive schemes with regard to the kind of ancient western Phoenician houses which are known today. It is a system of juxtaposition of elements, as per needs, without a planned layout and with an organisation as if the space had been shared between the settlers.
The communal elements include the large ovens, probably for cooking bread and sandstone mills, possibly for milling grain. Pottery appears in different shapes, such as amphorae, jugs and pitchers, plates, lamps and other bronze utensils for cooking. Other elements have also been found, such as bronze hooks, which show the presence of fishing, and woven pieces, showing that fabric was made.
However, without a doubt, metal work was the activity that occupied the most relevant place in the economic activities of the Phoenicians of Sa Caleta. Remains of the mineral, argentiferous galena, have been found, which was smelted in the settlement to obtain lead, but there are also indications of its transformation for extracting silver. Ironwork has also been found, which was dealt with in specific ovens. The minerals, in particular the galena, were probably obtained by the Phoenicians on the east coast of the peninsula and on the Catalan coasts where they exchanged it for products such as wine, oil and other economic objects. One of the elements of the Phoenician economy was the exploitation of salt; the sttlement is very close to the important natural salt marshes of Eivissa.
In about 600 BC, they definitively abandoned Sa Caleta, and settled in the bay of Eivissa, where they founded the city of Eivissa, a place that was better suited to their expectations of organisation and growth.
The declaration of Sa Caleta as World Heritage reflects the great importance of the settlement as a predecessor to the current city, and it great historic meaning.
With the foundation of the settlement at Sa Caleta, the Balearic Islands entered history and modernity. The Phoenicians brought new, unknown concepts to the island, such as town-planning, pottery turned on a wheel, iron metal works and writing, among others.