The Sardinian Nuragic civilization was born and developed in Sardinia, embracing a period of time ranging from the full Bronze Age (1800 BC) to the 2nd century AD, now in Roman times.
It was the result of the gradual evolution of pre-existing cultures already widespread on the island since the Neolithic, whose most evident traces that have come down to us are dolmen, menhir and domus de janas , to which were added new stimuli and contributions cultural heritage of the metal age.
It owes its name to the nuraghi, imposing megalithic constructions considering its most eloquent vestiges and whose actual function has been discussed for at least five centuries.
During its millenary history it has had continuous cultural and commercial exchanges with the most important contemporary Mediterranean civilizations but in the course of the fifth century BC, the entry into conflict with the Carthaginian imperialism first, and the Roman one then decreed its decline. [3 ]
In addition to the characteristic nuragic constructions, the civilization of the ancient Sardinians produced other monuments such as the characteristic temples of the sacred water, the tombs of the giants, the enigmatic sandstone sculptures of Mont’e Prama and the particular bronze statues
Around the middle of the second millennium BC, during the middle Bronze Age, protonuraghi evolved into truncated cone-shaped megalithic towers, and spread widely throughout the territory of Sardinia (1 nuraghe approximately every 3 km²).
They were the center of the social life of the ancient Sardinians and gave their civilization their name, although their function and destination is still highly controversial among historians and archaeologists who, from time to time, have elaborated theories on their military, civil, religious or for the burial of the dead.
The debate among the researchers is very intense and some new proposals try to go beyond the studies of the Sardinian academic Giovanni Lilliu who has always defended the idea of the nuraghe-fortress. A new thesis is that which sees in the nuraghi a predominantly astronomical function describing them as real fixed observatories of the celestial vault, arranged on the territory according to precise alignments with the stars.
Around 1500 BC, with archaeological findings, it is possible to see increasingly large aggregations of villages built near these mighty constructions, often built on the top of a hill, but always with megalithic technique (large blocks of superimposed stone) and with large rooms with tholos vaulted ceilings (false dome). Probably due to a greater need for protection, one can note over time the constant progressive addition of more towers to the older one – by placing them or connecting them together with curtain walls.
From simple, the nuraghi became complex in this way, trilobed and even quadrilobate, so as to be characterized by articulated systems of towers, with wall systems equipped with loopholes. However, some have a less strategic position. According to some theories they would have had a sacred function to mark the horizon seen by the main nuraghi compared to the solstices. The towers of the larger Nuraghi could exceed twenty meters, such as the Nuraghe Arrubiu which originally exceeded the 27 meters. Some Nuraghi as well as being supplied by wells were also equipped with complex drainage systems, such as the Nuraghe Arrubiu.
Section of the nuraghe Santa Barbara, Villanova Truschedu.
Those that have come down to us – apart from the isolated towers – are imposing and complex buildings, with annexed villages to form buildings similar to castles, sometimes called by scholars also “nuragic palaces” . Although millennia have passed, these nuragic villages have not disappeared completely but it is believed that the nuragic populations have constantly inhabited the sites, keeping them alive and originating some of today’s Sardinian countries, perhaps those that have the word nur / nor as Nurachi as their prefix , Nuraminis, Nurri, Nurallao