The nuragic civilisation was born in Sardinia around 15th century BC and spread all over the island. This civilisation is considered to be pre-historical as yet a written document has never been found, even if the remains and the degree of civilisation achieved, could let us believe otherwise. We need to differentiate between the simple “nuraghe” and the “nuragic village”. The first is today considered a watching tower; the second a temple/house of the tribe’s chief evolved into a fortress. Due mainly to the defensive needs of the local population which was continuosly threatened by the sailing civilisations crossing the Mediterranean sea at the time. .
THE PALMAVERA NURAGIC
The exploration of this archeological site allows the visitor to view the most explicatives and meaningful remains of the nuragic civilisation. The complex is formed by an ancient tower (keep) to which subsequently a bastion was added enclosing a second tower, an open courtyard giving access to the upper levels and a corridor with niches. This construction is surrounded by a barbican - clustered by three tower-huts and the so called “Meeting Hut”- to which the village’s huts are distributed. In this particular village the barbican seems to have been constructed not for defensive purposes but to distinguish who lived inside the wall - the head of the tribe and his court- from the rest of th population. The enclosure of the Meeting Hut inside the barbican is further proof of the will to separate the civil-religious powers from the rest of the community. The village extends predominantly towards West and South- over the road.
The excavations have brought to light around 50 huts - between living spaces and workshops-, but on the basis of the presumed extension, the nuragic village of Palmavera can be valued in 150-200 huts predominantly built with a circular stone base and with a thatched roof, very similar to today’s “pinnetas” (shepherd’s huts). The most significant hut in the village is the Meeting Hut, in which numerous important cultural elements have been found confirming its destination as public place. On the basis of the elements found, we can recognise inside the village three different construction phases.
PHASE I (1500-1000 BC)
This is characterised by the construction of the keep within which the first core of huts was built. This construction phase is characterised by the use of limestone.
PHASE II (900 BC)
The keep was partially rebuilt and strengthened, and the bastion and “Meeting Hut” were built. This phase is characterised by the use of sandstone.
PHASE III (900-800 BC)
The bastion is partially restored, and a large number of huts and the barbican are built, considerably increasing the size of the village.
THE NURAGIC COMPLEX OF SANT'IMBENIA
The Sant'Imbenia nuraghe, with a square plan, is dated 1400 bC. The construction has never been studied with scientific method but has been cleaned and freed from the vegetation and the remains of modern walls which invaded the structure. The archeological excavations on this site started in the 80's and they are still going on. The complex is formed by a large central tower (mastio) and two smaller towers, of which only the foundations remain. The barbican has concave and convex walls and it is particularly weak in the north-east area, where the restoration work is more evident. The central tower is nearly intact, except for the top part. A portion of the stairs is still visible and the entry has not been identified yet. During the excavations numerous blocks of stone have been found in the shape of a T and a L most likely utilised for the roof of the main tower. The village was inhabited up to the Bronze and Iron Age (1400 - 400 bC) and four wells and a semi-industrial area used to serve it for all this time. The huts used to serve many purposes, mainly as living quarters but the remains suggest that some were used as little warehouses and some as temples. The excavations have proved that the village inhabitants had forged relations with the Fenicians and the Greek and around 800 BC Fenicians use to live in the area maybe amongst the natives.
Due to the archeological excavations currently taking place the site is not available to the visitors.
HOW TO GET THERE
The village is located at ca. 14 Km from Alghero. From Alghero take the SS127 bis to Porto Conte e Capo Caccia once reached the crossing to Porticciolo take the left and after a few meters after the hotel Baia di Conte you will find on your left the Nuraghe Sant'Imbenia.