ARCHEOLOGY AND HISTORY
to discover the historical places of Sardinia

The Well of St. Anastasia (Sardara )

The temple of St. Anastasia is located few kilometers away from the Antiche Terme.
The sanctuary is one of the most important of the nuragic period, and is centered around a well temple.
It is made ​​with blocks of basalt and limestone and is oriented towards NE / SW. It consists of an entrance hall with seats partially paved, a staircase of 12 steps protected by a narrow corridor and a sloping roof, and a circular chamber with a “Tholos “cover , which can be accessed with a jump of 1.10 m from the last step.
The temple dates back to the late Bronze Age (thirteenth-twelfth century B.C.) and is part of a civil and religious well-structured settlement that is still being excavated. It includes a second sacred well built in the Greek way, some voussoirs of which – are decorated with engraved and embossed patterns or with protruding mammillary protomes, one having the form of a bull-like head – have been walled up on the façade of the church of St. Anastasia .
The excavations have also revealed the section of a large curved fence, similar to the ‘feast fence’ of the nuragic sanctuary of Serri. It is partly lined by a counter of schist slabs representing a porch probably.
The remains of several huts can be seen inside the fence. ‘Hut 5’ was provided with a counter-seat and two large rectangular niches and had a small sandstone column in the centre which was topped by two discs and was used to buttress a nuragic shaped altar. Near the entrance there was a rectangular pit excavated in the rocky counter that used to contain a jar full of bronze artifacts, including caster’s tools for craft activities and fragmentary material intended to be recast. Three beautiful washbowls made of bronze were found next to the jar. The hut , was perhaps a ” meeting room ” for the leaders of the village and was built at the end of the late Bronze Age (end of eleventh – tenth century B.C.) , while the materials in the closet had been hidden there from the end of the eighth century B.C. and the beginning of the seventh century B.C.
A big clay bowl containing ‘oxhide-shaped’ ingots and deposed in the Iron Age was found instead on the threshold of ‘hut 1’ which dates back to the late Bronze Age as well.
The finding of Terracotta fusion moulds in the area outside ‘ hut 4’ proves the production of metal artifacts on site .
Inside the church there is a nuragic well that used to be in a hut of the village and has returned materials dating from the late Bronze Age and the seventh century B.C.
As documented by the low but significant Punic pottery found in the excavations and the remains of the Byzantine Empire (named after St. Anastasia’s Greek Menology) below today’s visible church dating back to the fifteenth century, the use of the area for religious purposes has therefore persisted after the nuragic period.
The findings of St. Anastasia are exhibited at the Civic Museum of Sardara ‘Villa Abbas’ and the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari.

Domus de janas - Sa domu 'e s'orcu (Setzu)

The domus de janas are excavated in a conspicuous marly formation and have the entrance to the east. The mansions of small fairies that weave gold fabrics into golden looms are considered by the popular tradition. In reality they are tombs carved into the rock by the populations who lived in Sardinia in the Neolithic period, between 4000 and 3000 BC about.
Tombs, often form vast necropolises, in some cases very elaborate. They consist of an antechamber, often equipped with niches dug into the walls, and a chamber overlooking numerous small cells, in which the deceased were laid.
Sa domu 'e s'orcu stands in the northern part of the Siddi giara, characterised by a defensive system of nuragic towers. It is a nuragic tomb composed of a funerary chamber about 10 metres long and rectangular in shape, and a semicircular exeral. The room, with a trapezoidal section, still retains the original cover that allows the visitor to enter an upright position; the deceased inside were lying on a bed of pebbles and were accompanied by their kit. Inside we also find an elevated niche to the left of the entrance. In front of the monument was found a basin of basalt with two vertical pans, considered a liturgical furniture for the offerings to the deceased.

Tomb of the giants of San Cosimo (Gonnosfanadiga)

This tomb is built of crudely worked granite blocks, and still has the floor in good condition. The chamber, 26m long and about 2m high, is excavated below ground level, with a trapezoid section. The period in which it was built is intermediate in the Nuragic culture, as the excavations ascertained, which began in 1981 and produced many interesting finds, visible at the Archeological Museum of Sardara.

The neuragic palace Su Nuraxi (Barumini)

The Barumini palace dominates the entire surrounding plain and is formed by an immense quadrilobate nuraghe, which has its oldest structure in the centre tower. Originally it was almost 20 metres high and was divided into three floors. The tower would date back to 1478 BC (Bronze Age) and had to have an imposing appearance to say the least.
The four towers surrounding the central one would instead appear around the thirteenth century BC. Between the two structures, the nuragics had obtained an internal courtyard, which connected the central tower with the four towers (each tower is arranged according to the 4 cardinal points). Inside the courtyard a 20-metre well was dug that still contains drinking water, confirming how the Nuragic civilisation had formidable architectural knowledge. The whole structure (the central mastium plus the four-obate bastion), was surrounded by a wall of walls thick 3 metres, probably around the eleventh century BC, both to reinforce and to better defend the palace. From that moment on, access to the fortress became even more difficult for every invader: a small opening placed 7 metres high remained the only possible entrance. In the following years, 7 more towers were built around the palace, making its structure even more imposing.
Away around the palace there is an incredible succession of nuragic huts, with very narrow alleys and an evolved urban structure. Excavations showed how the village continued to develop over the centuries. In the middle of the Iron Age (8th century BC) the ‘counch of the council’ (a structure with a circular seat and niches on the walls) was to be the centrepiece of the village's activity. The Nuragic palace of Barumini was such a grandiose fortress that all the populations who dominated this territory chose it as a bulwark. But it is precisely the 30 metres of land that buried him that added even more mystery to his destiny. UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), in 1997, recognised Su Nuraxi as a World Heritage Site.

The nuraghe Su Mulinu (Villanovafranca)

The nuragic complex is located a short distance from the town and has recently been made available to the public. The Su Mulinu fortress, built with sandstone blocks and limestone boulders, consists of a trilobed bastion and the antemural wall with towers and curtains equipped with loopholes. Inside the building there is an elongated room with ogival cover and a rectangular flat-dipped room; corridors and stairs connect the various rooms to each other. Nuraghe is a testament to the evolution of the construction techniques used over the various centuries by the Nuragic population.

The Naturalistic Museum of the Territory Sa Corona Arrubia (Villanovaforru)

The Museum is located in the hills of the Marmilla region, covered with red lichens, which inspired the name of the locality ‘Sa Corona Arrubia’. The exhibition proposes several thematic sections, which illustrate the botanical, faunal, geological and anthropogenic aspects of the territory. Suggestive dioramas, modern museum teaching tools, represent three-dimensionally splits of the territory, the forest, the highlands of the giare, the environments in which man interacts with nature. The fidelity of reproductions makes it possible to appreciate ecosystems and to involve visitors in museum educational activities. The botanical section, the xylo library, the mycological collection and the herbarium are presented according to a logic of effective dissemination that stimulates the spirit of observation of adults and children. A part of the museum is dedicated to ‘gas games’ (ancient games). A collection of about two hundred traditional Sardinian toys, handmade, is part of an educational workshop in which professional animators tell anecdotes in the Sardinian language, teach how to build toys in a fun way and describe values and roles in the daily life of the past. The ascent by chairlift allows you to discover the territory from a different view and to access the Park of Megalithic Monuments that is located in the plateau of the giara of Siddi.

The nuragic site Genna Maria (Villanovaforru)

The nuraghe, brought to light only in 1977 stands in a dominant position on top of a hill. With a trilobata plan, it has a central tower, surrounded by three large towers joined together by thick walls that enclose inside a courtyard with a tholos well. Outside the village area runs another wall with six corner towers.

The tomb of the giants of Su Cuaddu de Nixias (Lunamatrona)

The Tomb of the Giants Su Quaddu de Nixias, takes its name from the area in which it is located, and from the unusual hole placed on the right of the great stele, which was perhaps used in historical times to tie horses. With all probability originally the tomb was a cista lyte (re rectangular case formed by four stone slabs on the sides), given some finds (vions painted in fluted red), recovered during the excavation, attributable to the Culture of Monte Claro (2500 BC). The cista tomb, which can still be seen at the bottom of the corridor, was quadrangular in shape with sides of about one metre, formed by slabs of marl intertangled in the ground, and had a depth of about 60 cm.

The Tomb of the Giants, on the other hand, is attributable to the first nuragic period (about 1600 BC, Middle Bronze Age), the finds of this period that have been found are some large pots decorated with triangles and chess performed with raw dots. This was certainly the collective tomb of the inhabitants of one of the two protonuraghi of Trobas or Pitzu Cummu, who are nearby. The corridor that starts from the cyst tomb, originally covered by horizontal slabs of which there is no longer any trace today, is also composed of slabs of marl intertised in the ground. The stele, unfortunately missing from almost the entire left side and the top, is made with local marl stone, which given its extreme friability is subject to deterioration, but also to be sculpted with ease, in fact the stele has the central band and the perimeter bands in relief. The lower part is divided into three boxes with the hatch in the centre, and it is the least damaged because it is covered with earth until the recent excavations. The exedra had an arc of 13.90 m and was formed by vertical slabs intertted in the ground.

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