A journey that lasts 6000 years
In the territory of Arzachena, there are numerous archaeological sites from the Nuragic period. The archaeological sites that can be visited in the itinerary from Tenuta Pilastru are:
Nuraghe Albucciu - Municipality of Arzachea. Driving along State Road 125, (towards Olbia) just outside the municipality of Arzachena. The Nuraghe, which can still be visited today, was built at the base of an imposing granite massif. Its typical truncated cone shape made it possible to reach the summit where there is a ‘terrace’, probably a lookout point over the surrounding territory. Not far from the site, recent excavations have uncovered a Tomb of the Giants, absent in this case is the presence of the large monolithic stele. Excavations have uncovered numerous finds in the area, including coins and several engravings from the Punic period, clear evidence that the tomb was also used in times subsequent to the Nuragic period.
TEMPLE OF MALCHITTU
A few minutes from the Nuraghe Albucciu, it is possible to visit another important archaeological site, the Tempietto di Malchittu. The period of construction can be dated between the 16th and 14th century B.C. Bronze Age. The rectangular-shaped structure shows a semi-circular apse where a counter for offerings to the deities is still present. The main entrance is characterised by the presence of a Temenos, once used in the pilgrimage as a resting place while waiting to enter the temple to attend religious services.
Tomb of the Giants Moru, is the only example in the area with rows of stones and is the oldest funerary monument from the Bronze Age (1300 - 1000 BC). This name is attributed to them by popular tradition, which so called them because of their majesty. In reality, they were collective tombs consisting of a corridor in which the deceased were buried and a semi-circular area, called an exedra, in which rituals were performed and offerings were deposited. The oldest ones are made of vertical slabs driven into the ground, the most recent ones have a masonry structure, i.e. they are built ‘in rows of stones. The burial has been used in various different periods, and has been emptied and reused several times; proof of this can be seen in the accumulation deposit, inside a ‘sack’ cut out in front of the burial, consisting of a considerable number of shards. The entire monument, Tomb of the Moru Giants, measures 11.30 m. in length X 5.20 in width with the corridor measuring 9.10 m in length with a wall face of approximately 2 m.
Continuing the itinerary and leaving Arzachena, take state road N.427 in the direction of Luogosanto and you will soon reach the locality of li Lolghi. Here, the Tomba dei Giganti (Tomb of the Giants) dominates a hilltop. The Nuragic construction dates back to around 1800 B.C. and is still in an excellent state of preservation. The structure is composed of several elements assembled in granite stone. The exedra and the stele, characterised by two large granite slabs placed one on top of the other, create a particularly daring architecture for that period. The Li Muri Necropolis is among the most important testimonies of the Culture of the Circles of Arzachena. During excavations, several finds of particular historical importance were brought to light. Its architecture is simple and unique, where the numerous circular tombs were placed side by side and around them, small stone urn-shaped elements are clearly visible, probably adapted for collecting offerings for the deceased.
TOMB GIANTS CODDU VECCJU
The Tomb of the Giants of Coddu Vecchju is located in the locality of the same name and is the most imposing of its kind, the granite stele reaching a height of 4.04 metres. Archaeologists believe that its construction took place in at least two periods: the burial chamber is dated to the Early Bronze Age between 1800 and 1600 BC. The exedra was positioned in a later period, presumably in the Middle Bronze Age between 1600 and 1300 B.C. During the excavations, several valuable artefacts were found inside and around the tomb, such as necklaces, pottery and various objects for everyday use such as bowls, which can now be seen in the Sanna Museum in Sassari. The Coddu Vecchju Tomb of Giants is adjacent to the village of Nuraghe La Prisgiona, only 500 metres away.
Il Nuraghe La Prisgiona: this archaeological site, located in the region of Capichera in the territory of Arzachena, was erected to dominate and control a large territory. The particular complexity of the structure, its dimensions and the special architectural devices implemented, show the particular importance of its pre-eminent role within the territorial system to which it pertains. In its context, it is certainly a complex nuraghe, belonging to the ‘tholos’ typology, i.e. with a false dome roof, rather unusual in Gallura. The building, entirely constructed of granite blocks, still shows the massive presence of a central tower (keep) and two side towers forming a bastion. The entrance to the keep is marked by a massive lintel 3.20 m long. The central chamber has a false dome more than 8 metres high, and is equipped with three niches. The bastion is further protected by a wall that delimits a large courtyard. Inside the courtyard is a well over 7 metres deep and still functioning today. Numerous ceramic artefacts were found in the bottom of the well. Among them are many askoid types, embellished with elaborate decorations and bearing traces of repairs, evidence of their value. The askoi were not simply intended to hold liquids, but were clearly intended for other uses. The ‘meeting hut’ is a circular building located, perhaps not coincidentally, a short distance from the well. The ring-shaped inner bench could accommodate 12 people. The importance of the site is further confirmed by the discovery of a vase of rather unusual shape and decoration. The jar was probably used to contain a drink, perhaps a decoction or distillate, the consumption of which was perhaps limited to a small number of people, probably the 12 people who attended the meetings.