The Nuragic Civilization

Sep 2017
805
United States
So, what ended up happening to them? They seem pretty advanced, especially in their stoneworking.
 
Aug 2018
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london
The Nuragic people also had trade contacts with Bronze Age Scandinavia:

'Moving metals II: provenancing Scandinavian Bronze Age artefacts by lead isotope and elemental analyses' (Ling et al 2014)

"The first part of this research published previously proved without doubt that the metals dated to the Nordic Bronze Age found in Sweden were not smelted from the local copper ores. In this second part we present a detailed interpretation of these analytical data with the aim to identify the ore sources from which these metals originated. The interpretation of lead isotope and chemical data of 71 Swedish Bronze Age metals is based on the direct comparisons between the lead isotope data and geochemistry of ore deposits that are known to have produced copper in the Bronze Age. The presented interpretations of chemical and lead isotope analyses of Swedish metals dated to the Nordic Bronze Age are surprising and bring some information not known from previous work. Apart from a steady supply of copper from the Alpine ores in the North Tyrol, the main sources of copper seem to be ores from the Iberian Peninsula and Sardinia. Thus from the results presented here a new complex picture emerges of possible connectivities and
flows in the Bronze Age between Scandinavia and Europe."

https://www.academia.edu/10144668/Moving_metals_II_provenancing_Scandinavian_Bronze_Age_artefacts_by_lead_isotope_and_elemental_analyses
 
Aug 2018
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==Other types of structures and infrastructures==
The aqueduct of Gremanu. A system of water channels that originally provided water to a large settlement downhill, provided with a small pool for ritual bathing. The stone quoins which formed the water channels were originally connect with melted lead.









Roads:
A road dated to the 14th-13th century bc was recently discovered at Selargius, the road was subject to constant maintenance and furrowed by wagons:

Deep wells, up to 40 meters deep, completely clad with stone quoins:
Genoni, 40 meters deep

Cuccurru Nuraxi, 30 meters:

Water channels and moats:
The recently discovered paleo-channel which delimited the nuragic village of Sant'Imbenia, the settlement wa created by draining a previous swamp:
 
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Aug 2018
255
Italy
So, what ended up happening to them? They seem pretty advanced, especially in their stoneworking.
There was an initial crisis around 1150 bc, when 3/4 nuraghi were abandoned and purposely toppled, and no more nuraghi were built after that period, but the nuragics recovered from it and the settlements around the pre-existing nuraghi grew in size and complexity, while metallurgy and art continued to prosper and improved; large sanctuaries were built around the pre-existing temples where different communities congregated. The second and final crisis happened towards 750-700 bc and they never recovered from that, many settlements and sanctuaries were abandoned, and the locals stopped producing their own kind of art and just imitated the phoenician-levantine arts and way of life. The nail in the coffin was probably the carthaginian conquest of most of the island towards 540-520 bc, exports decreased drastically and among other problems malaria became endemic on the island.
 
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Aug 2018
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==Trade during the late bronze age PART 1==
During the late bronze age Sardinia became much more connected with the rest of the Mediterranean. Mycenaean pottery dating to the 14th-12th century bc has been found in a great number of sites in Sardinia, and because of its value and beauty it was also locally imitated in a number of sites (Antigori, Selargius, Funtana Coberta, Orroli)

Along with mycenaean pottery, amber, glass and fayance, and golden artifacts from Mycenaean but also from further East (Ugarit, etc) reached the island in great quantities during this period
Vice versa nuragic pottery dating to this period was found in Crete at Kommos, its largest port. which was located in the southern coast, where it was found in significant quantities, the context where they were found is dated to the III A2-B, late 14th-early 13th century bc.
Nuragic vases, both imported from Sardinia but also locally fabricated were found at Cannatello (Sicily) and Pyla Kokkinokremos (Crete) dating to the 13th-12th century bc. The presence of locally crafted nuragic vases in addition to the imported ones signals the presence of Sardinians in those sites, even if probably only temporary.


During this period raw sardinian metals were exported.
As Ario mentioned sardinian copper was traded as far as Scandinavia starting from the 17th century bc throughout all the late bronze age, sardinian copper also reached Dalmatia, Crete and Jordan as well around the 14th century bc, while sardinian lead was used for many artifacts in Cyprus in the 13th century bc (Pyla K, Kition).

Trade with Cyprus started around the 14th century bc, when along with mycenaean pottery some cypriot fragments also reached the island, though in smaller quantities. Cypriot oxhide copper ingots also became extremely popular all over Sardinia From the 14th century bc to the 11th century bc, in fact the region with the highest density of oxhide ingots in the Mediterranean is Sardinia:


Cypriot oxhide ingots were the most iconic type of ingots in the Eastern Mediterranean during the late bronze age, they were found in very large quantities both in the Uluburun and Cape Gelydonia wrecks and were often depicted in figurative art, both in Egypt, Cyprus and elsewhere, including Sardinia.
 
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Aug 2018
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==Trade during the late bronze age PART 2==
Trade between Cyprus and Sardinia became extremely intense, there was almost an exclusive relationship between the two islands for some reason. Some cypriot tools used for iron metallurgy such as the charcoal shovels, some types of hammerheads, tongs etc only have parallels in Sardinia. Iron working was likely introducing in Sardinia so early on (14th-12th century bc) thanks to its special connection with Cyprus.
Many cypriot-type metallic artifacts were imported and locally imitated in Sardinia starting from the late bronze age:

Of course along with metallic artifacts other exotic goods were traded, such as near eastern cylinder seals. Exotic foods also reached the island from the Eastern Mediterranean during this period, an example of these are the melon and mulberry seeds found at Sa Osa, a nuragic settlement on the Western coast of the island, which constitute the earliest evidence for the cultivation of both these fruits in the Western Mediterranean.
After the bronze age collape (1180-1170 bc) trade between Sardinia and the Eastern Mediterranean, and especially with Cyprus, did not stop at all; in fact with the collapse of the Mycenaeans the Cypriots took a primary role in trading with the Western Mediterranean and Sardinia in particular.
During this phase, right after the bronze age collapse, nuragic pottery reached the island of Lipari, North of Sicily, in huge quantities.

Meanwhile nuragic bronze objects such as the double axes and decorated daggers reached what would be later known as Etruria and the Elba island.
 
Aug 2018
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==Su Nuraxi, Barumini==
Probably the best known nuraghe, this large nuragic complex is also an UNESCO site.
The structure is made up of a main tower, probably the oldest part of the building, constructed around the 16th-15th century bc according to the c14 analysis of a wooden plank found inside it. The tower is locaed at the center of a bastion with four outer towers, the courtyard inside of the bastion is provided with a 20 meters deep well., while one of the towers is provided with a cistern. The bastion was then surrounded by an outer wall which included several smaller towers. A stone settlement was built around the nuraghe starting from the middle bronze age (16th century bc) and becoming larger around 1300-1200 bc, it was later provided with a drainage system for the rain water and narrow streets during the early iron age (900-750 bc)
Inside the houses of the settlement there were also bread ovens and millstones. A circular structure with a basin a the center and benches located all around it was also discovered by archaeologists (one of the "roundhouses with basin" I've mentioned earlier). Around 1100-1000 bc a large stone roundhouse with bench positioned along its circumference was built by the inhabitants, this structures were present in almost every large nuragic settlement, they were probably places where the community, probably the elders and the elite reunited to discuss and take decisions, a sort of parliament of the town; this is also supported by later greek sources, which mention the dikasteria (parliaments) along the other ancient buildings of Sardinia.

The Nuraghe:


The courtyard inside the nuraghe:


Reconstruction of the bastion:

The nuraghe with its stone settlement:

The corbels used to sustain the weight of the battlements on top of the towers:

Inside the nuraghe, which was probably plastered inside originally:


 
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Aug 2018
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==Nuraghe Arrubiu, Orroli==
It's one of the biggest nuraghi on the island, the main tower and its bastion with four towers and a courtyard were built towards the middle of the 14th century bc. The main tower was originally 27-30 meters tall, making it the tallest stone building in Europe at the time of its construction, it included three tholos roofed chambers overlying on each other, the vault of the ground floor chamber is 11 meters high; however now the tower is only half of its original height since it crumbled around the 9th century bc. The bastion was then surrounded by some additional stone walls which included more towers, for a total of 21 towers. The construction of the bastion was preceded by the planning of a complex drainage system for the channeling of water inside a cistern which worked through an overfull system, and to keep the courtyard dry.
The fragments of a Mycenaean alabastron imported from Argos and dated to the second half of the 14th century bc were found scattered throughout the nuraghe, the albastron was probably used to store perfumed oils.
Very recently some copper ingots were found in a niche inside the main tower (a context dated to the 14th century bc), they were then analyzed in a laboratory and the results were fascinating: the copper was imported all the way from the Sinai and Negev deserts.
Some other very interesting news came from the analysis of the many nuragic pots found in the nuraghe, many of which contained traces of not only red but also white wine, thus some of the first evidence of wine consumption in Sardinia were found in this nuraghe, where wine was consumed since at least the 14th century bc.
Other traces of food have helped us to better understand the diet of the Sardinians of 3400 years ago: roasted pig, but also mussles and clams, which were found in considerable quantities inside this nuraghe despite its distance from the coasts.
A bread "laboratory", a sort of bakery, was also discovered inside of the towers of the bastion, and finally also evidence of beer consumption.
Some bronze ploughshares were also found inside the nuraghe, which were used to cultivate both durum and common wheat, but also barley and farro, along with different kinds of legumes: fava beans, peas, lentils and peavines. Inside the cortuyards of the nuraghe some siloi to store grain were also uncovered.
Traces of red plasters were also found on the walls of the nuraghe, suggesting it originally was covered with it.

The nuraghe:



Reconstruction:


The tholos chamber in the ground floor of the main tower, still intact:


One of the courtyards located between the bastion and the outer walls of the nuraghe, you can see a silos too:

Overview of the nuraghe:

Drainage channel, built with river pebbles brought from more than a kilometer away:

Wine askos pitcher:


The Mycenaean alabastron:
 
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Aug 2018
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Italy
==Nuraghe Is Paras, Isili==
This nuraghe included a main tower connect to a bastion with three outer towers, which was surrounded by an outer towered wall and a stone settlement.
The peculiarity of this nuraghe is the colossal tholos roof of the ground floor chamber inside the main tower, probably built around the 15th-14th century bc. The tholos chamber was almost 12 meters high, making it the tallest tholos chamber at the time of its construction, and though it was surpassed one or two centuries later by the tholos of Atreus' tomb, it remained the tallest free-standing tholos. The grounddfloor chamber contained a well.
There was probably another chamber on top of the ground floor one, which is now missing.

The colossal gateway:




The tholos chamber:




The nuraghe from above:


Clay sculpture found inside the nuraghe:
 
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Aug 2018
255
Italy
==The votive ships==
The votive ships are one of the most commonly portrayed subjects among the nuragic sculptures. The number of votive ships found until today is around 160. They range from large cargo vessels likely used for long distance trade over the sea to small boats probably used for fishing in lagoons. They often have either bull, deer or ram protomes but sometimes the protomes seem to belong to more exotic or mythological animals. In some of them it's possible to notice the construction techniques used to build them, such as the wooden planks being sewn together. Most of them were found in sanctuaries, but some were also found in funerary and domestic contexts. In Etruria these nuragic boats were usually used in funerary contexts.
Some of the votive boats:

Ship from Orroli with a bull's head:



A similar bronze ship was found at Cabras, the bull protome looks somewhat exotic:



Votive ship from Bultei, the protome is a deer's head, while two dogs are present on the handrail:



Votive ship with a deer's protome discovered in a votive deposit at Sa Sedda E Sos Carros dated to the 11th-8th century bc. It's one of the biggest nuragic bronze ships ever found but it's unfortunately broken and missing most of the hull. The deer's protome is portrayed in a strikingly realistic manner:




 
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