There is archaeological evidence that there was already a steady and permanent population on Formentera at the end of the third millennium B.C., although it is not yet known when occupation began. The megalithic tomb of Ca na Costa is from this period.
The Cap de Barbaria I, II and III sites also belong to the prehistoric period – although from slightly later times. Of the abundant archaeological evidence of occupation during ancient times, the Can Blai site is particularly noteworthy: a fortification from the early Roman period.
After the Moorish period, Ibiza and Formentera became part of the Kingdom of Aragon in 1235. However, the difficulties in establishing a new population on the island were aggravated from the second half of the 14th century onwards, due to the effects of the Black Death and, subsequently, to the threat posed by piracy. There were numerous attempts to repopulate Formentera, but they did not materialise until the end of the 17th century. It was then that the process was finally set in motion and increased throughout the 18th century with people moving from Ibiza.
For Formentera, the second half of the 20th century was a period of intense and rapid changes that directly affected the environment, society and culture. From lifestyles that could be called traditional, characterised by an economy that tended towards self-sufficiency, there was a shift towards a system based on the tourism services sector as the main economic driving force, a fact that led to a progressive change from the practices of the past to others more typical of the globalised world. Tourism radically changed the island’s economy and society.
To learn more about the history of Formentera, you can consult the Encyclopaedia of Ibiza and Formentera, as well as the bibliography listed at the end of this text. You may also be interested in reading the information contained in our Heritage Catalogue, visiting the Ethnographic Collection of Formentera or discovering the Image and Sound Archive of Formentera.
COLOMAR Ferrer, Santiago, Formentera a l’època contemporània (1782-2007). Edicions Documenta Balear (Col·lecció “Quaderns d’història contemporània de les Balears” ; 65), Palma (Illes Balears), 2009. ISBN 978-84-92703-21-0
GORDILLO Courcières, José Luis, Un combate naval en Formentera. Editor José Luis Gordillo Courcières, Valencia, 1993. ISBN 84-600-5533-5
PARRON i Guasch, Artur, La guerra civil a Eivissa i Formentera (1936-1939). Edicions Documenta Balear (Col·lecció “Quaderns d’història contemporània de les Balears” ; 21), Palma (Illes Balears), 2000. ISBN 84-89068-76-7
MARI Cardona, Joan, Illes Pitiüses III. Formentera. Institut d’Estudis Eivissencs, Eivissa, 1983. ISBN 84-00-05362-1