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ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

 

The archaeological heritage of Sardinia is vast and mostly hidden or difficult to reach. We therefore decided to recreate part of the sacred well on the Santu Antine hill, of nuragic origin, within the P.AR.C..

The site' origins

From the top of the Santu Antine hill, 590 m a.s.l., you can look over the whole surrounding territory: at dawn your gaze can easily stretch until the sea. It is an important observation point from which you can dominate the inlets from the south-east coast of Sardinia and Campidano, as well as the productive mining areas of the interior.

The ruins of two nuraghi bear witness to the first humans settling here in distant times; the Punic walls and Romanesque chapel in turn prove their continued presence here.

The hill was the subject of studies on its western front, undertaken by archaeologist Francesco Guido.

A nuragic well was discovered, of likely sacral meaning. Its 39 metres depth makes it a unique construction for the era, as well as a rich deposit of artefacts and historical information.

Taramelli already mentions the well, which is located within the walls of Punic defence. The upper part of the structure has disappeared; only a part was found inside the well, along with a Roman winch to draw water.

Both of these provide information for the historical reconstruction displayed in the diorama. The cavity of the well is also sheathed with the regular segments, trachyte on the top and granite below.

The Santu Antine hill returned more Late Antiquity archaeological finds.

A basalt stone chest tomb containing the remains of two individual adult males, whose bone remains showed the results of several fractures which later healed.

A bronze "barbaric" affibbiaglio (clasp) was found on the slopes of the hill during the first excavations.

 

Still on the hill, Spano reports the discovery of a burial formed by large slabs and containing numerous iron spears, a horse bite and numerous other objects, which have since been lost.

 

The Site Today

 

The Santu Antine hill is a historical monument, filled with the ruins of the people who lived there.

Little is left of the ancient structures but the great amount of finds allows us to tell its story.

These materials and the information they provided helped make two dioramas, under the expertise of the archaeologist who followed the excavations, prof. Francesco Guido, on behalf of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of the provinces of Sassari and Nuoro.

The two models are part of the installations in P.A.R.C.’s archaeological section

The first diorama shows the nuragic settlement as it is thought to have been originally; the second model recreates the environment and the artefacts that the archaeologist found at the bottom of the well.

We invite you, once you have visited the P.AR.C., to climb the hill and admire the territory from the top, and for a moment indulge in fantasizing about what might have been its appearance in the past.

Finds

Many objects were unearthed during the excavations, dating back as far as Roman times.

About 1800 coins, probably thrown into the well as offerings to the gods, several bronze and lead vases, figured cauldron handles, spearheads and two bronze statuettes.

Of the latter, the former is a male figure, standing, leaning against a high stick. A deity depicted in ritual nudity. He holds a sceptre in his left hand, and it may be assumed that the right, missing, was raised and opened. On the round-shaped face, a “pillar” nose was applied, i.e. a pyramidal volume with the vertex smoothing upwards. A big braided necklace, knotted under the neck, descends along the chest.
There are obvious similarities with the bronze statuettes from Santa Cristina of Paulilatino, Mandas, the domus de jana of Riu Mulinu of Bonorva and Flumenelongu nuraghe in Alghero.

The second figure, also a male, is an offerer. The statue holds his very large right hand high and open. He wears a short kilt and a round headdress cap.

The discovery of these bronzes in the territory of Genoni confirms the Syrian-Palestinian frequenting of the interior of Sardinia, compared to those where there have been similar finds.

These figurines show relationships between the indigenous peoples and eastern populations. They can be interpreted both as valuable objects which are donated to local elders to facilitate trade relations, or as a votive offering to the local deity by both foreign populations and those of Sardinia.
Also important is the discovery in Santu Perdu of a bronze statue portraying the Sardus Pater, a Sardinian-Punic god of the IV-III century BC. The bronze statue, in perfect condition, is in the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. A figurine depicting a horn player, preserved in the Museum of Cagliari, was donated by Cav. Sanna-Randaccio to Taramelli around 1905. This was also found at the Santu Pedru site, now in ruins.

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