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Inventory of the archaeological sites of Prenuragic, Nuragic and Roman cultures, recorded through Mario Unali’s identification in the territory of Chiaramonti, Sassari. Sardegna ITALIA.  ( traduzione a cura della Prof.ssa Lina Unali)
 

Descriptionalba-limbara.jpg (12463 byte)


I shall here give a short and synthetic description of the territory of Chiaramonti which lies within the province of Sassari (Sardinia), both from an environmental and an archaeological point of view.
nuraghe-ruiufinestraa.jpg (17411 byte)

  
The sites which have been localized take their names from the toponyms of the grounds where they were found. They are sometimes known through one or more names, a circumstance that may cause confusion and alter their numerical consistency.

 

The nuraghes and the other monuments, about which I shall later report, are for the most part reduced to a state of ruins and in few of them only it is possible to get inside. The majority of them are subject to almost every day tamperings on the part of improvised treasure seekers who are unaware of the irreversible destruction deriving from their irresponsible activity.

 

The impoverishment of our sites should stop immediately; it is necessary to carry out strategies of preservation if we do not wish to further waste these fundamental tassels in our understanding of the various historical eras that may make us acquainted with the life of our ancestors which were the origin not only of our genetics, but also of our historical and cultural anthropology.  

 AADdj-Murrone1.jpg (15285 byte)

 

The method followed : 

As far as possible, I tried to plan the survey in the most rational and systematic way, travelling far and wide through the territory. I visited several villages spread in the whole territory, inhabited by people with whom I was personally acquainted and with whom I was on friendly terms; I observed their activities, first of all sheep-farming and agriculture, handled with advanced technologies, but through their various connotations still connected to the farming tradition inherited from their nineteenth and twentieth-century grandfathers and great grandfathers. These people took me along paths and gorges; they retold me “sos contos de foghile” (fireplace stories) with which they were familiar: episodes and anecdotes that have been useful for the retrieval of the ancient toponyms.  

The territory: plants and animals: 

The territory of Chiaramonti (98 square Kilometres) is quite wide and characterized by the presence of different species of plants, animals, and of a large number of archaeological sites assignable to different historical periods.  corrales1.jpg (15844 byte)

Its orography is various and heterogeneous: not very high and round-shaped hills in the north west; harsh and steep peaks in the north east; thick forests of oaks and holm oaks in the south: “tanche” (pieces of land surrounded by low non cemented stone walls), unused as pasture lands, covered with asphodels and flowers of red rockroses and light blue mastics.  betilecac2.jpg (15605 byte)

There are meadows which abound with a great variety of plants and medicinal herbs as far as one can see, shapelessly rising either gently or roughly among rocky cracks shaped by the working of time, in the colours of moss grey and red lichens, changing according to the time of day, sometimes gloomy and sad, resembling those fairies and gnomes that, according to the legends, are believed to populate the thick forest, among the steep passages overflowing with streams full of foaming and fresh waters that the mountains send to the valleys in order to make them fertile and rich in nourishment for the herds.

 

Here and there, not far from one another, ancient ruins of nuraghes can be seen – nuraghes that still bravely stand after thousands of years the harshness of the weather and the destructive action of man. They are witnesses of those ancient ancestors who dared raise the cyclopean constructions with their mighty features. They are preceded by the domus de janas, the graves of proto-Sardinian inhabitants, of five or six thousand years ago, where the dead, surrounded with their funeral apparels and painted in the colour of ochre, the symbol of blood, go back to Mother Earth’s womb with the hope of resurrection; there are megaliths that exhibit respect and feelings of sacredness to those who observe them, and who were at the same time modest in their constructions rising towards the sky in harmonious shapes. betilecacchilepier.jpg (17226 byte)

Today, to the common people, they are known as the fairies’s, inhabited by mysterious and not always good witches, even wicked ones at times, which the popular belief gives life within the context of legends, orally handed down by the fireside from generation to generation.

Then there are the giants’ tombs, some made with cut stones, others with isodome stones with a cover of gigantic slabs, some with an exedra, others without one. It is not a rare occurrence to stop in front of a dolmen, of a bethel, of a menhir, of a prenuragic stronghold, of a ceremonial circle of large or small dimensions, or even in front of a little temple of the kind of a Greek megaron.  
 
One can walk for hours on undulated and fertile grounds, on inaccessible and briskly descending slopes, moving from the "Runda and Suerzones", 86 meters high (73 meters above sea level at the feet of the Moronzanos waterfall), to "punta Rittia", 638 meters high, at Sassu Altu. 

Up to a few years ago, the village territory was wider than 111 square Kilometres, then, with the creation of the new municipality (borough) of Erula almost 13 were given up, so that the town district presently comprises 98 square Kilometres.

At the bottom of deep canals, dug through the centuries by the waters running among trachytic rocks and the dark brown basalts, some microclimates were formed which favoured the survival of rare essences, local species of insects and of other animals. We cannot but be glad about the large quantity of flowers and mushrooms, which grow in the underwood amid ferns and musks, and dew wet lichens, which make the soil salts melt down to breathe out humours and perfumes. It is by moving from the farthest territory to another that one can easily bump into one of the hundred and more nuraghes that are not located in an homogenous way, that is according to rational rules, but at random, either in the form of giants’ tombs or of one of the many domus de janas or of a bethel or in a ceremonial circle of pietre fitte (standing stones). Therefore, these constructions appear to be  built in places not systematically selected, apparently without any particular reason or sign of mutual connection, or conformity to a common goal. corralesdis08.jpg (21981 byte)The nuraghes, are sometimes placed like sentries on top of the hills, sometimes upon small elevations within fertile valleys or on mild descending slopes, they appear as dumb witnesses of a great Mediterranean civilization. 

Those who explore the territory of Chiaramonti should always be aware that what informed the ancient builders were certainly reasons of a technical and material order, but also religious ones that are most of the times wrapped in mystery.

If we go on listing the nuraghes that were visited during our recognition and of which some specifications will be given in the Appendix, we can obtain the following catalogue.

Nuraghes
with technical specifications
 

1.      Abba de sa Pedra (s’).

2.      Agantinu (su)

3.      Aijanu (su) 042400877-19k.jpg (19738 byte)

4.      Aijanu de Giannichedda (su)

5.      Arzola de Cogarzos

6.      Aspru (s’)

7.      Aspru Santu Pedru (s’)

8.      Badde o sa Chiterra

9.     Baddes o sas Coas (sas)

10.    Bados de Lovč 1

11.    Bados de Lovč 2

12.    Badde de Cheija o Badu Olta 082700055-12.4k.jpg (12710 byte)

13.    Badde de Purcheddu o s’Enalonga

14.    Bantinepira

15.    Bellimpiattu o Badu de Muzeres

16.    Cacchile

17.    Caddalzu o Uttigia (su)

18.     Cannalzu (su)

19.     Carralzu (su) o Aldu Pinzone

20.     Casteddu

21.     Chirralza

22.     Coa Pertusa (sa)

23.    Cobesciu

24.    Conca de Giuighe 042500133-13.8k.jpg (14206 byte)

25.    Concas

26.    Corrales o Giuntorzu o Giunturas

27.     Crasta o s’Ena o Certias

28.    Crastu Covaccadu (su) o Mazzone

29.    Cucciucciu

30.    Cudinas (sas)

31.    Culu de Muru

32.     Donna Ciccia

33.     Elighia 1

34.    Elighia 2

35.    Elighia 3 o Tinnaru

36.    Figu Niedda (sa)

37.    Frades Contones

38.    Frades Saba

39.    Furros 042200044-9.3k.jpg (14060 byte)

40.   Giaganu Dominigu 1

41.   Giaganu Dominigu 2

42.   Giaganu Dominigu 3

43.   Giolvas (sas)

44.    Iscala Lampadas o s’Elighe Entosu

45.     Iscala de Malta

46.     Iscobeltu

47.     Ispiene (today territory of Erula)

48.    Laccheddu 1

49.    Laccheddu 2

50.    Lavrone

51.    Lepris

52.    Leriga (sa) 02140014a-36.8k.jpg (37769 byte)

53.    Longu

54.    Lizu

55.    Massidda

56.    Mesu de Montes

57.     Midda de Giuseppe Ruiju

58.     Midda Manna

59.     Monte Aldu

60.     Monte Attarzu

61.     Monte Cuccuma o Cuccullai

62.    Monte Culumba

63.    Monte Pertusa

64.    Monte de s’Ozu 03110017a-21.5k.jpg (22080 byte)

65.    Monte Zennaru

66.    Moronzanos o Baldedu

67.    Muntiju de Chelvos 1

68.    Muntiju de Chelvos 2

69.    Muntiju de su Aldu

70.     Murrone

71.     Nigolittu

72.     Ostija o Urtigia

73.     Ortos (sos)

74.    Padru Giosso nuraghe-cam-cen-moronzanos.jpg (15840 byte)

75.   Pala de Nicola

76.     Pattada (sa)

77.     Pules

78.     Paulusedda o Palusedda

79.     Pedru Canu o Funtana Pudida o s’Elighe Entosu.

80.     Pedra Ilvena  o Ulvine

81.     Piddiu 1 04050008a.jpg (13500 byte)

82.     Piddiu 2

83.     Pisciu Accas

84.     Puddu (su) o sa Tanca Brujada

85.    Ripidu

86.    Rosa o derosa

87.    Ruinas

88     Ruju

89.     Santa Caderina o Biancu

90.     Sanu 03300033.jpg (23462 byte)

91.    Serra de Coloras

92.    Serra Pantaleo

93.    Tanca Etza (sa)

94.    Tanca de su Re (sa)

95.    Terrelas

96.    Sinnadolzu

97.    Sue Zunis o de sas Paghes

98.     Tetti

99.     Tiriales

100.   Truddariga 04060010a.jpg (13126 byte)

101.   Turturina

102.  Tuvuleddu

103.  Ui (Reggia Nuragica)

 

NOTE: Other toponyms or nuraghes’s names which could not be found but which are present in the memory of some old people: Su Bomberi, Istampa e' Abbas, s'Argentu, su Tragliu, Aidu Ebbas, Barrasone, Cambinu, Canudu, Sa Toa, Fustelarzos, Lazu segadu, Majore,Marena, Mannu, Spinudria, Tres Signoras, Laccana, Giolzi Crilpu, Istampa de abbas.

 

Domus de Janas
with thechnical specifications   Ddj-Murrone0.jpg (16363 byte)            Ddj-Murrone2.jpg (10080 byte)

1.       Bellimpiattu o Badu de Muzeres

2.       Cudinatos

3.       Culu de saccu simbdopcornsospianos.jpg (7883 byte)

     4.       Mesana (sa)

     5.       Furrighesos (sos)

     6.       Monte Pertusu (necropolis)

7.       Moronzanos 1

8.       Moronzanos 2 simbdop.spirale.jpg (8789 byte)

     9.       Murrone (necropolis)

     10.  Peruchi o Badu Olta

     11.  Pianos (sos)

12.  Sambinzos

 

Prenuragic Fortress  tgcorrales.jpg (21271 byte)
with thechnical specifications 

  1. Punta Corrales (dolmen)
  2. Murrone
  3. Punta de s’Arroccu

 

Bethels and menhirs

They differ one from the other and are scattered in great numbers here and there. I shall indicate a few of them in the following territories: Cacchile, Sa Tanca de su RE, Badde de Matta, s’Istria, Serra de Coloras, Massidda, Meddaris and others.

 

Roman Necropolis of su Cŕnnau

About ten sarcophagi are present, wrought in a single megalith.

An isolated one is to be found in sa Tanca de su Re and in sos Terrelas.

 

Tombs of the Giants idolo.jpg (10393 byte)

1.  Tombe Badde

2.  Cacchile

3.  Caddalzu 1 tomba-m.-s'ozu-davanti.jpg (20939 byte)

      4.  Caddalzu 2

      5.  Caddalzu 3

      6.  Corrales

7.  Crastu Covaccadu

8.  Elighe Entosu (s’)

9.  Elighia tomba-m.s'ozu-menhir.jpg (15528 byte)

        10.     Ena (s)

        11.     Figu Niedda (sa)

        12.     Midda Manna (sa)

13.     Monte s’Ozu 1

14.     Monte s’Ozu 2

15.     Monte s’Ozu 3 tomba-sa-figu-niedda-dietro.jpg (19085 byte)

         16.     Pisciu Accas

         17.     Puddu (su)

         18.     Serra de Coloras o Culu de Muru

         19.     Truddariga

 

Cerimonial circlescirc.saortija.jpg (20769 byte)

  1. Culu de muru
  2. Leriga (sa)
  3. Luzanas (sas)
  4. Ortija (sa)
  5. Pedra Ilvena

 

Temples in the shape of the Greek megaron dolmen-elighiagran.jpg (15170 byte)

  1. Giaganu dominigu
  2. Porchileddos  

 

 

Author’s note: As I previously said, what I wrote is a kind of a work in progress assessment; the research is still going on, although I believe that a certain percentage of it, approximately 90%,  has already been done. In 1830, in Casalis, Angius indicated in the territory of Chiaramonti the presence of about 150 nuraghes (he called them norachi). A recent study by Professor Mauro Maxia reported about 114 of them, and more or less the same results were obtained in 1988 by a research directed by Don G.A. Tilocca and conducted by a group of Chiaramonti young people. Nonetheless, I believe that some of the nuraghes’ sites have disappeared, either covered by rubble or under the coarse pressure of the weather and of the atmospheric agents, but for the most part, due to the works of land improvement and transformation, which have been done without the necessary checks on the part of the institutions, mainly of the municipal ones. Thus important traces were erased such as monuments’ arrangements along certain lines, foundations, pieces of broken earthenware, and so on. All of it is sufficient to get in the way of a precise identification of the number and location of the various sites that were present in the territory.rios-e-trainos-istrampu-mor.jpg (21600 byte)

IGM reports 45 nuraghes less than half of those that I listed, no Domus de Janas, Tombs of Giants and all the rest, that I instead presented to you and about which I hope you took pleasure in reading, if for nothing else out of mere curiosity. If you wish to know more, especially concerning recent discoveries, you may contact me, criticizing the information that I have given and adding elements which have not been previously considered in this study. All your contributions will be gratefully accepted and will help complete this research aiming at the reconstruction of the cultural heritage of all of us, the people of Chiaramonti. Mario Unali.

I thank my dear friend Prof. Angelino Tedde for his kind collaboration. [Translated by L.U.]