Part 1 : Land of the Nuraghe.
From about 2,000 BC onwards buildings called Nuraghe’s dotted the Sardinian landscape. Their robust archaic forms arose from hilltops and bluffs, dominating fertile plains and guarding river crossings, trade routes, ports and sacred sites across the island. Wherever there was importance connected to the land these structures castled the ancient countryside. They stood as single towers or as groups connected by ramparts, standing like mounds of perfectly manicured rubble from which protruded anything from 3 to 5 towers up to 3 stories high surrounding a larger central one. Around the Nuraghe grew hut villages with thatched conical roofs, expanding outwards in bewildering wheels of concentric roundhouses, cramped together, connected by winding lanes that snaked between the labyrinth of homes. These were sometimes protected by a town wall, but even then they tended to spill past boundaries.
The appearance of a Nuraghe, seemingly rising out of the rugged landscape, gives the impression of deep antiquity, of an organic, rough hewn civilisation, and of the land being slowly tamed. Sardinia was the beginning of the Mediterranean Wild West, & this is it’s story. Continue reading “Ancient Sardinia: The Mediterranean Wild West.”