Ses Païsses is a Bronze Age talayotic settlement in northeastern Majorca. It is one of the most important and best-preserved prehistoric sites in the Balearic Islands, although it is largely overgrown with woodland, mainly Quercus ilex (holm oak), making it impossible to see the site as a whole.
The Ses Païsses settlement is thought to have begun as a cylindrical talaiot, or 'turriform', built during the first millennium BC (c. 900–800 BC) on a hillside with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Originally it would have stood alone, probably as a territorial marker. The tower is 12m in diameter and still stands 4m tall; there are stairs within the massively thick wall, but the building's central column has not survived. Visitors to the site are not allowed to access this building.
The talaiots are Bronze Age megalithic structures on the islands of Menorca and Majorca. There are at least 274 of them. Dating from the late second millennium and early first millennium BC (between 1,300–900 BC), they are round or square structures built of rough stone, around a central space at the center of which stood a column. This supported a ceiling of stone slabs which also formed the floor of the next story. Their purpose is not clearly understood: religious or tribal ceremonies, storehouses and distribution centres have been suggested. They are not thought to have been used as dwelling places or as defensive buildings.
These monuments pre-date the taulas, which are usually found nearby. The Talaiotic Culture began some 3,000 years ago and ended with the arrival of the Romans in the Balearic Islands in 123 BC.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.