Patrick McAfee and I explored these strange structures in Menorca last month.
He wrote me after we returned and said...
Check out Dante's stepped purgatory mountain on google. Visually it's similar to a barraca.
Purgatory is the second part of Dante's 'Divine Comedy'. We find the Poet, with his guide Virgil, ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on Earth. There are the proud - forced to circle their terrace for aeons bent double in humility; the slothful - running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire.
Dante's Purgatory is a lofty island-mountain, the only land in the southern Hemisphere, at the antipodes of Jerusalem. On the lower irregular slopes are the souls whose penitence has, for some reason, been delayed in life and whose purgation is now delayed in death. Above that is the base of Purgatory proper, the place of active purgation, which consists of seven level terraces surrounding the mountain and rising one above another, connected by stairways in the rock.
On these terraces the seven deadly sins are purged by penance from the souls that have been beset by them. On the summit of the mountain is the Garden of Eden, or Earthly Paradise, from which the purged souls ascend to Heaven.