Off the west coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea, we find the stunning island of Sardinia.
July 31 2019
One of Italy’s 20 regions (and one of its 4 autonomous regions), it has nearly 1,200 miles of coastline, rolling verdant hills, and sparkling beaches. Moreover, dotted throughout its rugged landscape are thousands of nuraghe. Unique to Sardinia, these mysterious Bronze Age megalithic edifices were constructed out of stone during the Nuragic Age between 1900-730 BC. From the northern walled city of Alghero to Sardinia’s southern capital city, Cagliari, their beehive-shaped structures can be found all over the island’s surface. Currently, archeologists have uncovered over 7,000 nuraghes and they surmise that there were originally over 10,000 structures built almost 4,000 years ago. Further, according to evidence obtained from excavations and analyses, they believe that these megalithic ruins were once defensive structures with no parallel anywhere else in the world.
One of the largest and oldest nuraghe, dating back to 1500 B.C., is the Su Nuraxi in Barumini, Sardinia. Simply translating as ‘the nuraghe’, Su Nuraxi is a UNESCO-World Heritage Site due to its size and to its remarkable prehistoric architecture. The Su Nuraxi was originally 60 feet high and consisted of a large central tower that was connected by a spiral staircase. While the highest of the original three chambers is no longer standing, the structure overall is considered to be the finest and most complete example of the nuraghe in all of Sardinia.
Today, the vast collection of nuraghe ruins have come to symbolize Sardinia and its distinctive culture as well as the Nuragic civilization as a whole. Many smaller artifacts dating back to the Nuragic Age are on display at the Cagliari Archaeology Museum, located in the beautiful Piazza Arsenale, and Italians from other regions and foreigners alike are welcome to marvel at the rich history and the amazing archaeology found uniquely in Sardinia.