Mystery of Nuragic Civilization

From the Bronze Age of around the 18th century BC, the island of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, was once ruled by the mysterious Nuragic civilization. The story of the indigenous Nuragic civilization lies obscured by unanswered questions. The Sardinians left no written records. Either they did not use writing or what they wrote on has failed to survive. The slender evidence of place names, as well as the Sard language still spoken on Sardinia, suggests that they spoke a dialect related to the non-Indo-European Basque.

Nuragic Ruins

One of the only legacies they did leave imprinted upon the land and its history are the many megalithic stone structures they left behind, such as the nuraghe, which are ancient fort-like structures with their purposes mysterious and long lost to time, numbering in the thousands, scattered all around the Sardinian landscape. 

Tomb of Giants at Coddu Vecchiu

The nuraghe (plural nuraghi) is an ancient megalith found all over Sardinia. As early as the second millennium BCE, the Nuraghic people were burying their dead in rock-cut tombs, carved to resemble the houses of the living. They were also building stone towers – called nuraghi – which were probably for defensive purposes or for storing raw copper and bronze.

The purpose of these structures, the latter of which display increased mastery and efficiency in assembly, has been debated (from grain silos or observatories to temples or fortresses), but artifacts discovered within some (including stone tools, loom weights, hearths, cooking vessels, spindle whorls, and animal bones, to name a few) lead many to the conclusion that the nuraghi were utilized as homes or for predominantly household activities.

There are also the mysterious immense stone tombs that dot the landscape here, called the Tomba dei gigantic, or “The Tombs of Giants,” due to their gigantic size.

These massive funerary monuments were constructed of enormous slabs or blocks that rose up to 13 feet high which were arranged around an even bigger central stele or portal stone with a doorway carved into it, to form corridors and rooms or chambers that can measure as much as 50 feet in length. The most famous one of these giant’s tombs is one that can be found at a place called Coddu Vecchiu, in Arzachena, northern Sardinia, and which was built between the years of 1800 to 1600 BC and first uncovered in 1966.


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