The leading character in Sardinian prehistory, the “nuraghe” is the product of a civilisation which spanned over more than a thousand years (from the 19th to the 3rd century BC) and developed a society built over stable or semi-nomadic sheep rearing and farming and, in certain areas, metal exploitation. The Nuraghic period is distinguished by the working of bronze, as proven by the famous bronze figurines, portraying mainly warriors, animals, nuraghi and boats, which provide evidence of a farming and sheep-rearing civilisation in which the upper class (i.e.: the warriors) played an extremely important social role.
Most Nuraghic finds are displayed in the archaeological museums of Cagliari and Sassari.
The “nuraghe” represent the evolution of the megalithic civilisation and show a rational approach to building, as proven by their conical shape, which makes it easier to pile the large stones on top of each other.
Initially, the shape and strategic deployment of the “nuraghe” led to believe they were merely military and defensive constructions. However, this hypothesis was partly superseded by recent discoveries, which showed that they were also used for religious purposes. The simplest “nuraghe” were built in the shape of a truncated-cone tower, enclosing a round chamber.
Over time, they became increasingly complex and were provided with steps and staircases, or like in the case of the Nuraghe di Santu Antine (Torralba-SS), with more chambers built on top of each other. This architectonic evolution led to the joining of several towers, linked by means of walls around the main building.
Villages of round-shaped huts were then built in the area surrounding the construction and positioned according to the precise hierarchical rules which distinguish a clan society.
We count approximately 7,000 Sardinian “nuraghi”, the main ones offer guided tours to visitors. Among these: the Nuraghe Losa (Abbasanta), in the province of Oristano, the Nuraghe Barumini, in the province of Cagliari, the Nuraghe Santu Antine di Torralba, in the province of Sassari, the Nuraghe Orroli, in the province of Nuoro, the Nuraghe Genna Maria in Villanovaforru (Cagliari), the Nuraghe Serra Orrios in Dorgali (Nuoro), and the Nuraghe Pal-mavera, in Alghero (Sassari).
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