THE ROUTE’S STAGES:

This itinerary is still under design, will soon be available with all the information about the stages.

 

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THE NEOLITIC IN SARDINIA

The Neolithic Age or the new stoneage began in Sardinia around 5900 BC and marked the first true and most important settlement period of the island, the first radical radicalization of a flow of people that from hunters and collectors became farmers and breeders, that therefore nomads became sedentary.

Obsidian arrowheads and instruments, Cagliari Museum
Obsidian arrowheads and instruments, Cagliari Museum

This is the kind of population that we still have in our days. In the earlier periods of the Paleolithic and the Mesolithic, the few testimonies, albeit fundamental (see the finds in the Corbeddu’s cave in Oliena, with human remains dating back to the Paleolithic to the greater than -20000 BC or at the site of Sa Domu ‘e s’Orku in Arbus, with human remains dating to the Mesolithic circa 8700 BC), testify to the presence of Homo Sapiens in the island since that period, but in the terms of nomadic groups of hunters and gatherers who exploited particularly caves, rocky shrines and few resources on a seasonal basis. Instead Neolithic is very different, characterized by the presence of material testimonies, bone finds and architectural structures as symbol of a vivid and flourishing population that seemed to have full awareness of itself and of the island that hosted it (this witnessed from the exploitation and trade of the Monte Arci’s obsidian (near Oristano), found not only throughout Sardinia, but also in northern Italy and in other areas of Europe).

Sardinian neolithic ceramic – Ozieri’s Culture
Sardinian neolithic ceramic – Ozieri’s Culture

The Neolithic people express themselves mainly through the ceramics, which for millennia have been worked overwhelmingly, so that archaeologists have conventionally divided the different ceramic styles that followed during Neolithic in “Cultures”, often attributing them the name of the first place of discovery (like the Ozieri culture, Monte Claro culture etc.).

Earth Mother Goddess neolithic sculptures, Cagliari Museum
Earth Mother Goddess neolithic sculptures, Cagliari Museum

Other testimonies lead us to observe a population particularly sensitive to the life/death cycle, to the care of the journey of the deceased to the beyond through the hypogean structures (excavated in the rock) called “Domus de Janas” (House of the Fates) of which it often appears to be within a real dwelling, with many false doors, arches and columns made in the same rock, stone hearths, red ocher decorations, spirals and bulls protomes which welcomed the deceased on his last trip, sometimes accompanied by the statue of the Goddess Mother, a strong spiritual symbol that will accompany the antiquity of the island population for many millennia and in many forms.

Monte d’Accoddi’s prenuragic Altar
Monte d’Accoddi’s prenuragic Altar

The Neolithic people tell us of their artistic and architectural ability, raising in the IV millennium BC the prenuragic altar of Monte d’Accoddi, a sort of huge pyramid-shaped structure (or Ziqqurat) built in several phases, with a 40-meter long access ramp that not only constitutes a European unicum, but also contemporary, if not older, of mesopotamical Ziqqurat.

A "Overturned" in a Menhir statue, Laconi Museum
A “Overturned” in a Menhir statue, Laconi Museum

In our journey through Neolithic populations we still encounter hundreds of Menhirs, Dolmens, ancestral and mysterious symbols such as the “Capovolto” (Overturned) carved into the menhirs, which induce us to admire these testimonies and to want to study, understand and appreciate, with the hope that more excavations will be possible leading to greater knowledge and sharing. The next great Nuragic Civilization is probably to be understood as the natural consequence of these peoples and of this neolithic “golden age”, a civilization that, starting from 1800 BC, began to make its first steps towards what would become one of the largest and important peoples of the Mediterranean.

 

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Nooraghe S.r.l.s.