From the origins to the Nuragic Civilization

The Origins

Sardinia is one of the most ancient lands of Europe: its oldest parts would date back to the Palaeozoic Era, about 600 million years ago.
The island formed, together with Corsica ,a unique geological block, that broke away from the coasts of the present France and Spain, and after a journey of about 13 million years, it reached its present position.
The presence of mankind on the island dates back to the Palaeolithic, as we know from the remains found in Oliena in the cave of Corbeddu (some carved deer’s bones), but there have been stable groups only since the Neolithic.
These communities lived in caves and then also in villages of huts, they practiced hunting and fishing and then also breeding, agriculture and craftsmanship. They worshipped the Mother Goddess, together with the Sacred Bull, both symbols of fertility. For the worship of the dead, about a hundred dolmens and more than 2000 Domus de Janas ("fairies’ houses") have been found. They are caves dug into the rock, often grouped in necropolis and decorated, mainly with drawings of bull’s heads.

The nuragic civilization

Nuraghe of BaruminiIts name comes from its typical buildings, the nuraghi (in paleosardinian language, "nur" means hole/amount), truncated cone towers, built in megalithic technique, using huge blocks of stone, without cement. They finished with a "tholos", or false vault on the top, and they could reach the height of 20 meters and 10 meters of diameter. In Sardinia there are about 7.000 of them, with one tower or more, alone or surrounded by villages of huts. Regarding their function, different theories have been made, but it’s believed that they had several purposes: housing, military, religious.
The nuragic people worshipped water, so they built sacred wells, also named well temples. In the island we have found about 40 of them, composed by a vestibule, a staircase and a room covered by a tholos. The necropolis were composed by the typical "Giants’Tombs", collective graves built with big stones and which drawing is in shape of a bull’s head.
Model of Nuraghe Santu AntineAnother typical expression of the nuragic civilization are the bronzetti, small bronze statues with 8 to 40 cm of height, with religious purpose, representing different human figures, as shepherds, craftsman, warriors, priests, but also animals and boats. They were made from models of wax, that were then covered with clay, where a small hole was made, from which the wax came out during the cooking. So the clay model was used to make the bronze statue and was then thrown away, so that each bronzetto was unique. We have found about 400 of them.
The nuragic civilization continued to exist even when other peoples arrived to the island and settle there: the Phoenicians from the 9th century BC and the Carthaginians from the 6th century BC.

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