The Cape of Cavalleria on the northern coast of Menorca provides a natural shelter for the port of Sanitja from the northern and northeastern winds. This natural port was first occupied as a military camp during the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands by General Metelus between 123 and 121 BCE, and the harbour settlement grew over the following centuries.
In 1996 the formal study of this area began, revealing one of the most important archaeological sites on the island of Menorca. The initial work between 1996 and 2008, revealed that the military camp had an unexpectedly long occupation of almost 70 years, until it was abandoned around 45 BCE. At this point, the veteran soldiers, merchants and locals started living in a ramshackle settlement that developed slowly into a new city called Sanisera, mentioned first by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century CE.