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Bronze metallurgy is brought from Mesopotamia by a population that gives rise to epic Shardana

In this page we describe the arrival of bronze metallurgy, brought by navigators Shardana, occupying Sardinia and spread their knowledge, until the iron age, which began in 850 BC. Significant are the consequences of the introduction of bronze in economic terms, since the difficulty of finding the pond, located in a few geographic areas, has led to the development of a network of long-distance trafficking, who have put in contact with each other distant regions.

Several hypotheses about the origin of the people of Shardana

In the early Bronze age in Sardinia arrive from the Near East, a population of Semitic or Indo-European, which brings in new technology. The finds of the period show that the previous population from Negroid facial features will be to support a population by tracts distinctly Indo-European or Semitic.

There are different hypotheses advanced on origin of populations that resulted in Sardinia knowledge of technology related to the manufacture of bronze.

Hypothesis that sees the Shardana from Sardis in Anatolia

Until recently it was argued that the Sherden were originating in the city of Sardi in Anatolia, which was the capital of Lydia in the time of King Croesus, who reigned between 560 to 546 BC. For this reference Herodotus, which tells that the first foreign language men settled in that country were mercenaries Dear and Joni sent from Cige King of Sardis, and employed by the Pharaoh Psammetrico I, who reigned from 663 to 609 BC, against Ashurbanipal.

And, faced with the objection that mercenargli were in the pay of the Sherden Pharaoh Seti I the great, who reigned between 1279 BC and 1292, to continue to attribute the origin of the Sherden to Sardinia, argue that Herodotus had confused dear Joni, who were Greek, with the Shardana, and Psammetichus with Seti.

But we have the certainty that is impossible the provenance of the Sherden in the town of Sardis, given that, according to a recent archaeological survey carried out in Turkey, this city was founded only in 1000 BC. And besides, even if it had been founded in the previous era, would have been destroyed, along with the capital Hattusa and the Hittite empire of which it was part, during the invasion of the sea peoples of the 1200 BC

The most plausible hypothesis of migration of Mesopotamian populations

The migration of the Semitic peoples According to one historian, Publisher and intellectual Raimondo Carta Raspi born in 1893 in Oristano, after the reign of Sargon the great, King of the Akkadian empire from 2334 to 2279 b.c.and founder of the dynasty of Akkad, you would have had an uprising of Northern countries and, following a sacrilege which King Sargon was committed against Babylon, a severe famine would destroy his people and his grave was desecrated.

Then to the 2200 would have experienced exceptional events, and probably a great famine, which would have resulted in the exodus of the Mesopotamian peoples westward.

This hypothesis, as well as the paper source Stalks, had subsequent acknowledgements and upgradings, inter alia to Leonardo Melis, one of the leading scholars of the history of the Shardana.

Around 2200 BC.arrive in Sardinia the bronze metallurgy

Bronze is an alloy of Tin and copper, more resistant than copper and very malleable, which can yield more effective weapons and various tools.

Bronze age dating THEbronze age is the chronological stage which develops according to the calibrated history, between 2200 and 850 BC, and according to a traditional dating between 1900 and 850 BC. The bronze age was introduced in 1816 by Danish researcher Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, who first saw the importance, in the events had the various populations, use by humans, objects in stone, bronze, and iron. The bronze age is the age of Antique Bronze, of Medium Bronze, of Bronze Age, and Late Bronze Age.

According to the traditional chronology based on considerations closely ethnological or technological, in the second half of the Middle Bronze age were built proto nuraghi and nuraghi, the first Giants 'graves, and in the Middle Bronze age and were Recently built other tombs of the Giants, and erected many nuraghi, while other oldest buildings were converted from single Tower nuraghi Nuraghe in distinguished, i.e. multiple towers.

But, as we have already explained, this dating appears now completely obsolete, and the Nuraghe with the Giants 'graves are, currently, traced to the period, i.e. to megalitismo Ozieri culture.

The arrival of the Sherden to Sardinia in early Bronze age

In their migration to the West, the Shardana arrive in Sardinia. Their arrival coincides with the importation of technology connected with bronze working, during the period of Antique Bronze According to the chronology calibrated between 1900 and 2200 BC, and according to a more traditional, dating based on considerations closely ethnological or technological, between 1900 and 1600 BC, coinciding with the beaker culture of Bonnanaro Final and Initial.

These are almost certainly the people who bring the knowledge of machining technology of bronze, in addition to a thorough knowledge of navigation and the cult of the waters. The first contact, this new population had with men of the beaker culture, which was installed in the western part of the island, particularly on the coast, to which he transferred the first knowledge of the making of the new metal.

But the beaker population is strongly opposed and eventually defeated by the population of Bonnanaro, formed by the natives of the island, which is considered a derivation of Sub-Ozieri culture, and also enters into contact with newcomers.

Coexistence with the Bonnanaro Final in the first part of the Middle Bronze age

In the first part of the Middle Bronze age According to the chronology calibrated between 1900 and 1600 b.c. newcomers arrive to live with the exponents of the culture of Bonnanaro final.

As a result, the end of the Bonnanaro culture comes to coincide with the development of the populations that resulted in Sardinia the bronze working technology, but is not believed to have been a real battle between the two cultures.

We're more likely to believe that between the two peoples has established a collaborative relationship, which allowed re-use of newcomers, megalithic structures present in the territory.

Probably determines a partition of the island: the native population retires within, while the coasts you install new comers. This is attested by about 200 skeletons of Bonnanaro period, between 2200 and 1600 BC, that show us a coexistence of two populations, with a clear predominance of the population native to the island, namely dolicocephalous, which reaches even the 87%, compared to newcomers from the Near East, namely the population from brachicefale.

The two skulls of cave Genna and Ludalbu And is attested also by tempering, in one of the many caves of the plateau of the Golgo used as horse burials, the cave Genna and Ludalbu, skeletons of two medium stature, buried one with the following, which is narrow and elongated skull, dated between 2000 and 1500 BC.full time Mom, and the other brachycephalic, i.e. with short and wide skull. These are the features of two different populations, the first of type Negroid and the second with the typical characteristics of Indo-European peoples and Semitic languages.

The analysis of Cagliari biologist Simone Sanna on Mitochondrial DNA of the nuragic age effected on their fossil remains, identified common characteristics and hence a strong homogeneity across the island, without, however, any analogy with that of Sardis. The Y chromosome, which is inherited by his father and makes it possible to follow the male migration, tells us that the Sardinians current share with other Mediterranean populations, and it is believed they have inherited from migrations from the Middle East. However, traces of a previous population cherishes anyway, since only the Sardinians have in the main branches of the DNA haplogroups M26 and HG2.2 absent in all the other peoples of Europe and of the Mediterranean basin. The conclusion is that between the ancient and modern population rises a genetic barrier, similar to the one that separates the Sardinians today by all other European and Mediterranean populations.

In the second half of the Middle Bronze Age settlement on the island and the beginning of their businesses

The Sherden stabilize, then on the island, in second part of Middle Bronze age in the period from 1600 to 1300 BC, when they start their establishment and their businesses, which lead them to export bronze artifacts throughout the Mediterranean.

Begin with business, passing then to fight as mercenaries, to become later a people of warriors and pirates who, at the head of the sea peoples, will attempt to occupy different areas of the Mediterranean.

The Sherden there have left writings, their story can rebuild only from what we tell them other peoples who have come in contact. And of Sherden at the helm of Peoples of the Sea their invasions, we speak both the Egyptians and the ancient Greeks.

Stele of Nola: Warrior Shardana (helmet with horns and a strange banner reminiscent of the Sardinian flag with the four Moors) and warrior Phelets (helmet with feathers) The fresco, a painting reproduced here from the 4th century b.c. funeraryfound in a tomb of Paestum and preserved at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, represents a warrior Shardana, leading the horned helmet and a strange banner reminiscent of the Sardinian flag with the four Moors, and a Phelets, i.e. Philistine Warrior, carrying the helmet with feathers.Stela, which was called Sannita, certainly dates back to the time of the sea peoples, i.e. between 1350 and 1200 BC.

In several Egyptian source documents discussing the Shardana and the sea peoples, already in the Middle Bronze age, at the time of the Pharaoh Amenhotep I from 1526 to Cappadocia, 1505; and then Tuthmosi I from 1505 to 1501, who defeated Mitanni and Syria, for which they fight even quotas Shardana. He also speaks at the time of Tuthmosi III from 1479 to 1425; and Amenhotep III from 1394 to 1356, which does edify the Colossi of Memnon, statues and more than 20 metres high.

Amenhotep or Amenhotep IV, reigning from 1356 to 1339 BC, married the beautiful Queen Nefertiti, is a pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty, which changes its name to Akhenaten and throughout Egypt monotheism. The God par excellence is Aton, which corresponds to the solar disc, big news for Egypt does not need nor statues or temples. Her worship takes place outdoors, by referring directly to God that shines in the sky.

We tend today to connect this profound change in or 1351 in 1355, Ambassadors of the sea peoples go to Egypt bringing their gifts to the Pharaoh and Queen Nefertiti, to invite them to return to the original cult of the great mother. Request from their accepted, though, instead of the Mother Goddess, establish the cult of the God Aten.

Akhenaten founds a new capital called Akhetaten, i.e. Tell-el-Amarna, and stop all military expeditions. Having only daughters, binds to the throne Semenkhara, husband of the eldest daughter, who at his death will capital at Waset, i.e. Thebes and he will restore the old theological system with the worship of Amun, while the Queen Nefertiti, remained at Akhetaten, will remain forever loyal to the cult of Aton. After his death, when restored the worship of Amun, Akhenaten Pharaoh is called a heretic, or even the iconoclastic Pharaoh.

The Pharaoh Seti I the Great is the second Pharaoh of the 19TH dynasty and reigned from 1318 to the 1304 BC. The son of Ramesses I, ascends to the throne at a very early age not around thirty-seven years, having held the position of high priest of Seth. The restoration of Egypt's foreign influence requires a series of military campaigns which culminated with the defeat of a Hittite army on the River Orontes, and the next short-lived peace treaty drawn up with the King of Hatti Muwatalli. Seti I definitely use mercenargli Sherden in the war against the invading the Hittites.

The epic Sherden in the late bronze age

The Sherden continue their diffusion in Sardinia during the age of the Bronze Age between 1150 and 1300 BC. But already by 1350, at the helm of the sea peoples, try several times invaded the lands of the Mediterranean. The Chronicles of the ancient Egypt speaks of the sea peoples, a coalition of warrior peoples who attempt to invade the country coming from the sea.

During the Middle Bronze age and especially in the late bronze age, is realized most votive bronzes that were found on the island. Are the bronzes made aulic style, also called Uta, which will be described later. Are, without doubt, much older than the oldest Greek bronze sculptures so far known.

The Pharaoh Ramesses II the Great, reigning from 1279 to 1212 BC, son of Seti I, is the third and most important Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty. As his father tries to reduce the power of the Theban clergy of Amon. Why move from Thebes, his residence in the delta region, where does edify, near Avaris that had been the capital of the Hyksos rulers, his new residence, called Per-Ramesses, i.e. the House of Ramesses.

Already during the second year of United must face the threat of pirates Shardana and their forays into the Nile delta. Manages to defeat them, then inserts the prisoners in his army using them as personal bodyguard.

In 1274 tackles Hittite invaders at the battle of Qetesh, stronghold of their empire. Is one of the most important battles of antiquity, in which they defeated with the help of personal guard consisted of 520 mercenargli Shardana, while others, which he calls Mom Shardana sea rebel heart, fighting alongside the Hittites themselves.

Medinet Abu: wagons carrying Warriors of the sea peoples Medinet Abu: Egyptian warriors and mercenargli Shardana with distinctive helmet with horns and solar disk Ramesses II makes build the temple cave Abu Simbel, with colossal statues at the entrance four twenty metres high and rock-hewn entirely depicting the Pharaoh seated, decorate with the reenactment of his victories, and will represent the Shardana guerriergli.

Even in the great Temple of Amon Ra, at Karnak, Thebes, where stands an impressive statue of the Pharaoh in front of the entrance of the Hypostyle Hall, which he completed with gigantic 134 columns and a large sacred Lake, decorate the walls with the representation of guerriergli Them.

Ramesses II is also built the Temple of Medinet Abu in Luxor, in which decorate graffiti representing mercenargli Shardana.

Medinet Abu: the sea peoples The fourth Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty is Merenptah or Amenhotep, who reigned from 1212 BCfor maybe 12 years. The most important military event of the reign of Merenptah is the defense of the lower Egypt before the invasion attempt of a strong coalition of Libyan tribes and peoples of the sea.

The invaders are the defensive line of Ramesses II and lay siege to the capital Menfi. The decisive battle saw the victory of the Egyptian army, but it is likely that Merenptah, due to age already advanced, has not participated directly in the battle.

This stage ends around 1200, when a major earthquake caused the tsunami and flooding that certainly at this time hit the entire southern coast of the island, flooding the Campidano and destroying most nuraghi are present in this area.

The great catastrophe of 1200 BC

Around 1200 BC.a great earthquake destroys Pilo, the Menelaion, Mycenae, Tiryns, Midea and troy. Must have been an event of extraordinary gravity, because after the cataclysm you will lose all previous traditions and you will arrive at Homer's writings between 750 and 650 BC.to have some recollection of what has happened during these 500 years of blackout.

Also in Sardinia, at the end of the late bronze age, this event caused the tsunami and flooding that certainly at this time hit the entire southern coast flooding completely the Campidano and destroying most nuraghi are present in this area. Even today, if you come to visit, we find them all killed in a southerly direction and remained partially standing just on the north side. A flood of which we have evidence, that left only swamps in place of fertile land and has turned into a huge swamp of Sardinia.

The island now unlivable is abandoned by the population, which lies in the need to seek other lands and pushing southward on the threshold of the land of Egypt, to the East in the direction of Greece and maybe going back to Mesopotamia where the Shardana were very centuries earlier.

Then, following the great flood towards the 1200 BCfloods much of Sardinia and cause the expulsion of the population to other lands, between 1220 and 1180 the last and largest invasion of the sea peoples who upset around the Eastern Mediterranean and Asian territory. The Coalition is wider and also includes the Tjeker Teucri, which Homer then will identify with the trojans; Pheleset, i.e. the Philistines; and people who come from Northern Europe: Denen or Danuna, Homeric Danaans; and Sakssar, i.e. the Saxons.

In 1184 a League of achaeans and their allies invades and destroys troy. This is the war that Homer recounts in the Iliad and Odyssey. The sea peoples destroy Ugarit and Mycenae, Biblos and Corinth, delete the Mycenaean empire saving strangely only Athens, passing the inhabitants to the sword and destroying everything on their passage, invade Laconia, continuing eastward and destroyed the Hittite empire with its capital Hattusa and coming up in Asia minor.

A part of the fleet, headed by the stessgli Akawasa, Shardana and again attacked Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses III, reigning from 1197 to 1165 BCand it is the second and the main Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty. The main news on Ramesses III originate from Papyrus Harris, from the Papyrus of the conspiracy of the Harem and the inscriptions and decorations in his funerary temple at Medinet Habu.

Medinet Abu: battle in the Delta of 1180 BC in which the ship at right is Shardana In 1180 BC.must meet various attempts at pincer invasion by the Libu and sea peoples from Asia minor and the Aegean. In the fifth year of his reign some populations from the Libyan desert, formed by Meshwesh and Libu, Seped, arrive to threaten Menfi, but manages to defeat them and drive through the desert.

In 1183 a part of the fleet of sea peoples headed the Shardana, after having destroyed the Hittite, Mycenaean civilization and devastated Palestine and occupied Cyprus, arrives at the gates of Egypt. Ramesses defeats the invaders from asia Minor and the Aegean, which are portraits in Madinat Habu, Temple and tell of defeating the most dreadful Warriors of time. We do not know if it was a real defeat, given that most probably reached an agreement with them, through the mediation of mercenargli Shardana militating in its ranks.

The last phase of Sherden, late bronze age

The island now unlivable is abandoned by most of the population, which lies in the need to look for other lands. Those who remain, survive in the age of Late Bronze Age between 850 and 1150 BCE, until the advent of iron metallurgy when it starts the decline of what was left of the Shardana, dominated by the Etruscans, who had previously dominated.

During this time, the production of bronze weapons undergoes an increase, as well as that of the bronzes. The bronze statues, created with function of ex-voto, depict various shapes of characters, animals and objects linked to daily life, models of nuraghe, ships and more. The realization of model nuraghe, represents one of the most significant signs of changes in this period in the cultural system, especially if Sardinia is correlated with another important phenomenon.Some nuraghes are abandoned, others are partially destroyed, and still others are superimposed new huts.

The votive bronzes are those made in popular style, also referred to as Mediterranean, also called Abini near Teti, and Santa Vittoria near Serri, and made the colossal statues found in the Mont 'e Prama, which will be described later. It is, however, of symbols to which is entrusted the task of curbing the risk of a drift of identity, that any cultural change inevitably brings with it.

The Sherden to Sardinia

During the period of early Bronze the Shardana arrive on the island; then in the Middle Bronze age begin to spread. But with the Recent bronze age civilization that reaches its apogee, Shardana coming to occupy and control every part of territory, from which moves to invade other Mediterranean lands. It is at this stage, that is the development of the potential social, political and economic, of which the Shardana were disabled.

The Organization of society Shardana

Historians believe that the population had an organization of Sherden type cantonale, namely that the various population groups arrived to occupy the land areas, coexisting with one another. It is likely that they also reused megalithic constructions found in the territory, as these have been found most of the bronzes that characterize this company.

During the bronze age is, in addition, upon completion of the process of social differentiation and Division of professional roles within the community, which had already begun in the copper age, and leading to the formation of a more complex society. Are, in fact, major social changes, with the differentiation into classes, and the rise of new highly specialized professionals, job seekers and metals smelters, and a class who held possession of metal weapons considered prestigious heritage and that of its means of production.

The Sherden is a company organized into families or clans, who obey a boss, and live in villages composed of circular huts with thatched roofs, similar to current pinnettas Cossiga shepherds. We are led to believe that society was structured by stating the hegemony of some families within the community, a well-established hegemony. And the power, perhaps earlier attributed with an elective system became stable and probably hereditary. Many bronze statuettes depicting characters who raise their hand, usually the right hand in greeting, invocation or prayer.

The company Shardana is a crossed by a new spirituality, characterized by the worship of water, with the construction of temples and sacred sources well. In this social structure strongly theocratic type based on military and religious character, takes on great importance the founding heroes figure, whom sardos, Iolaos and Norax, Hero founder of Nora, the oldest town of Sardinia, whose name may be connected with the nuraghi. This is the legendary leaders regarded as real deity.

The economy

The economy of Sherden builds again with prominent activities on agriculture, livestock and fisheries, originating probably initially economy type agro-pastoral, and also on metalworking.

They are breeders, but also skilled workers in bronze of which we are handed down have a monopoly in the Mediterranean, and are mostly a nation of soldiers and great navigators. The figurines of bronze statues found show quite clearly a specialization in arts and crafts.

Prehistoric villages villages, sanctuaries, defensive fortresses and fortified villages

In the early Bronze age, the communities still retain characteristics similar to those that appeared during the copper age, such as the limited population of the villages, texture that is not much different from that of the previous era, although there is a slow increase in the number of settlements. In the villages, they still have limited size, even the social structure is still poorly articulated.

Dorgali-Serra Orrios: village huts The transition from Bronze to bronze medium, marks the beginning of the real cultural phase that we call civilization Shardana. Around numerous nuraghi are built villages of stone huts with branches or lithic plates. The villages continue to evolve and grow over time, throughout the entire period of bronze civilization and in iron. Many of the villages were born in the previous phase, particularly those that arose around the nuraghi, undergo significant growth.

Develop large villages, while others still larger dimensions arise independently, not born, i.e., in the vicinity of a nuraghe. These autonomous villages are usually around a sacred well and are called villages sanctuaries. Even this figure can be interpreted as an eloquent sign of the intensifying territorial control.

In addition to the villages, and the sanctuaries, are then made fortified villages with megalithic type walls to defend the territory. These fences and walls indicate the need to guard against adverse populations.


With regard to the ceramics of the period of the Shardana, skill and taste of Sardinian craftsmen essentially manifest themselves in achieving olle to rim swelled and ceramics with geometric decoration, which are present mainly on the outer surfaces of pots. These were intended for ritual use, i.e. for use in complex course wedding. You are inclined to believe that sometimes were crushed at the end of the ceremony, as show vases crushed unearthed in bottom of sacred wells.

Ittireddu-Nuraghe Funtana: Ewer askoide richly decorated with geometric decoration, dated between 900 and 1000 BC. Also found were geometrically decorated lamps, and pear-shaped vases, which are found only in Sardinia, with decorations made of geometric type. Decorations that are also found on askoi, the name by which you indicate ancient Greek vases ceramic used to pour small quantities of liquids such as oil, recognizable by its flat shape and neck with handles at one or both ends.

Ceramics from this period have been found at Barumini, Santu Antine, Cuccuru Nuraxi, St. Anastasia, Villanovaforru, Furtei, Suelli and Ittireddu. They were also found in the Italian peninsula, Sicily, in Spain and in Crete all suggests a Sardinia very well inserted in Mediterranean trade.


The exploitation of the mines is one of the main resources of this period: figurative bronzes, next to the production of weapons, tools and miscellaneous items of bronze that has few equals in the rest of the Mediterranean.metallurgy Shardana achieves all Bronze-working cycle.

Soon in Sardinia, land of mines, they build furnaces for melting metal, which again are worked in a very clever, giving rise to a flourishing trade in the whole Mediterranean area and in particular to the poorest regions of metals. This explains the analogy of Sardinian culture with that of civilisations in the Aegean area, namely Cretan and Mycenaean, Cypriot, and with the Iberian area.

Surprised the high technical level reached by craftsmen, and also the high level of consumption. Have been found, in fact, even large amounts of broken bronze objects, intended for a subsequent merger. The mastery demonstrated by craftsmen lets understand how far they become skilled in metalworking, and also in the manufacture of weapons, as Sardinian museums are veritable arsenals of weapons of every kind. In addition to military objects, are produced in bronze agricultural tools in common use, household items, jewelry, bronze vases, mirrors, caskets, brooches, buckles, candelabras, vases, furniture handles type askoide, and above all the famous votive bronzes which we will describe in detail later.

Bronze daggers Bronze lance tips Orroli-Nuraghe Arrubiu: bronze vase Antiquarium Arborense-nuragic Bronzes unearthed on the Sinis

To produce the bronze, which have a monopoly in the Mediterranean, the Shardana use copper, which abounds in Sardinia, but cannot find the pond, which is present only in a small deposit of cassiterite, Perdu Cherished near Fluminimaggiore. Can, then, find the pond only to distant lands. Unable to go to look for it in China, very unlikely to reach the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall where Tin is only discovered in 900 BC, or in Nigeria covering 800 kilometres in a strange land.

The walls of the Great Shimbabwe whose towers are reminiscent of the nuraghi of Sardinia More likely, having circumnavigated Africa, arrive in Zimbabwe or Shimbabwe, where it is said to be the legendary mines of King Solomon, and where even today we see, near the mining area, large fortifications with stone walls and towers truncated cone, similar to the Nuraghe, which gave name to the village and then the whole country since Zimbabwe Shona language, it means large stone houses.

Bronze statues representing African animals and a man with the Negroid traits But how come so far?I am sure great navigators.Ships of this period we see playing in some votive objects, made by securely by navigators who had traveled a lot and probably out in the Mediterranean, since prore are adorned with the reproduction of animals such as antelope, then unknown, and other bronze statues is playing a gorilla, and a man with the typical features of a negro.


The religion of the people of Shardana culture probably connected the fertility of fields, namely the seasonal cycle and the water cycle and life, with the male force del Toro, identified with the Sun God, and female fertility, water identified with the moon. The bull, as all animals with horns, have a sacred significance to this culture, and is frequently reproduced in boats, in the large bronze vessels for worship, and in soldiers 'helmets.

You probably recognize the existence of a Mother Goddess, with a God father says Babai, which means father, and who will be called in Punic times Sid Addir Babai, and in Roman times, Sardus Pater. Have been found, in fact, bronze statues representing figures half bull and half man; figures identified with the Shardana, the demon with four arms and four eyes; two-headed deer; and others having mythological character, symbolic or religious.

Exceeded the phase during which the religion is expressed with the creation of the menhirs, religiosity is expressed with the construction of religious buildings, temples and shrines, and ecclesiastical buildings linked to the cult of the waters.

The religious architecture, with temples and shrines in tholos and megaron

In Sardinia there are temples and shrines, with function of ritual and sacrificial places. There are temples in tholos, i.e. to plant and time also called circular cupola, and temples in megaron, i.e. a rectangular, that draw their name from the structural similarity with the megaron Greek facilities with a sacred space that may have been intended for a sacred fire, perhaps kept lit by a priestly caste. The religious and cultic significance of these temples and shrines, is still not entirely clear.

Arzachena-tholos Temple Malchittu's There are many tempetti in tholos so far brought to light so far, among them should be mentioned the temple Malchittu 's, located near Arzachena, in Gallura, Olbia and Tempio Pausania. It also mentioned a shrine in tholos in the prehistoric village of Serra Orrios near Dorgali, Nuoro.

Dorgali-Serra Orrios: remains of temple at megaron Interior Among the temples and shrines in megaron very important is the temple Domu de Orgia, the largest temple in megaron so far known, located in the locality of Cuccureddì, on Mount Santa Vittoria, near Esterzili in Barbagia di Seulo, in the province of Cagliari.Should be mentioned, too, the Temple of S 'Arcu 'e is Forrus in Villagrande Strisaili, Ogliastra; the prehistoric village of Gremanu in Fonni, in the province of Nuoro; and the two temples in megaron the village of Serra Orrios near Dorgali, Nuoro.

The cult of the waters, with sources and sacred wells, and the temples at pit

We are inclined to believe that the Sherden, people of navigators, have brought in Sardinia animistic worship connected to water, and possibly astronomical rituality of Lunar or solar type of observation of the solstices. In this chronological phase, focuses, in fact, the construction of religious buildings related to the cult of the waters. For this cult, are first used the sources and sacred wells, and then realized, corresponding to the sources, the temples at the well.

The sources and sacred wells caught the aquifer directly at the level of the floor. The simplest type is the circular pit, constructed with squared blocks of stone, which is accessed from an input space at ground level, which, either directly or through steps leads up to the water level.

Bonorva-sacred spring on Lumarzu, are striking features Orune-The sacred spring su Tempiesu Among the most unique and best preserved, such as the sacred spring of Su Lumarzu, located in the locality of Rebeccu, near Bonorva, Sassari. Very important is also the sacred spring of Su Tempiesu around Orune, Nuoro.

The temples are well underground facilities reserved for worship, usually with water coverage in tholos. I usually have a more complex structure composed of three parts. Outside there is an entrance Chamber, at ground level, surrounded by small stone altars on which they deposited the offerings and which celebrated the rites connected with the worship of the sacred water. From here a staircase descends into the ground, and the underground compartment, with the ceiling more often than cupola, i.e. in tholos as that of the internal rooms of the nuraghi. At the bottom of the underground compartment at the bottom of the scale there is the sacred spring, where the collection was spring water. The front is often composed of a broad outer courtyard with Exedra, with stone seats to accommodate the faithful. The Exedra, or at least close to it, are sometimes of betili.

Perfugas-Il pozzo sacro Predio Canopoli Paulilatino-the sacred well of Santa Cristina Among them, important is the beautiful pit Predio Canopoli Temple, located within the town of Perfugas in Sassari province, which was discovered inside a church gardens, which indicates how the religious functions of certain temples has been perpetuated until the arrival of Christianity. Let us also mention the Temple to pozzo di Sant'Anastasia at Sardara, Medio Campidano. The prettier is certainly a fascinating Temple to the well of Santa Cristina, in the homonymous village at Paulilatino, Oristano. Important is also the pit Temple of Santa Vittoria, in the homonymous village to Serri, in the province of Cagliari.

Oliena-Village Knows Sage and Sos Carros: the sacred spring There are also much more complex structures from a hydraulic standpoint, with Jig raceways, tanks and taurine protomes for output of hot water to a central basin, which is surrounded by a ritual, such as pit located in the temple complex Sa Sage and Sos Carros in Oliena, not far from Nuoro.

The sacred sources, especially the temples at pozzo, are constructions that bring to mind the ability to edify megalithic type buildings, but the perfection and precision with which are cut limestone blocks with lava or which are made, is that, initially, had been dated between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE, confrondoli with the Etruscan religious architecture. But the most recent archaeological discoveries have led to anticipate their dating, leading the construction of these temples to the bronze age, many centuries before the previous assessments.

The villages sanctuary

Serri-remains of the nuragic village The temples are well a pilgrimage site, and around them develops, generally, a village, with accommodation and aggregative type structures, sometimes with terraces. In the villages, especially those characterized by the presence of a sacred well, presumably in the bronze age and iron age, in addition to dwellings and sacred temples, buildings are constructed for different purposes: large round for meetings, enclosed spaces used allegedly to business and trading, small houses for the accommodation of guests come from outside. All this suggests that in these villages, often called sanctuaries, advancing large gatherings in which several tribes found themselves together on the occasion of special religious events.

Serri-Federal Sanctuary of Santa Vittoria: accommodation for participants in meetings In the vicinity of some particularly important sacred buildings, such as in the case of that of Santa Vittoria to Serri, the Federal sanctuaries, large villages interpreted as areas where they should take place at regular meetings between people from different areas during annual celebrations and festivities are particularly important for the island's religiosity. Our games were Affairs in a large area, usually elliptical, with porches and round compartments for the residence of participants, and with the seats reserved for resellers of goods, to the shepherds and peasants.

Nearby there was a circular room with a few huts. The first was used for assemblies, in the latter case workers lived, the upkeep of places and administrators of the temple. Inside the huts, which are most commonly referred to as hut of Meetings or Council hut, have been found many bronze items ingots and lead, on which are carved notches and marks, perhaps indicating their temporal value. It is thought that these items were the subject of the community, or the treasure of the temple.

In such occasions were probably intercantonali meetings, sports games similar to Roman and Greek struggle to boxing, and family alliances clasped and trade relations. The Archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu, believes that the Federal sanctuary of Santa Vittoria di Serri, constituted a veritable pantheon of deities, suponendo who in the main building are together, in the German Federal Assembly, the most powerful of clans in Central Sardinia, to consecrate alliances or to decide on war.

At the villages, sanctuaries, often were subsequently built small rural churches, near which, on the occasion of religious festivals, fairs are held. In addition to the pilgrims arrive merchants, artisans and vendors of sweets. This happening today, it does not seem far-fetched to imagine that may occur also in major gatherings in prehistoric villages.

The cult of the dead

In the bronze age old and middle, produce, within the company, strong differentiation in terms of social and economic, with the differentiation by classie with the emergence of dominant classes. These aspects occur primarily from examination of the necropolis, in which you receive and the burials of high-ranking personalities, which testifies the existence of dominant classes.

Going to the bronze age, also begins to manifest a new burial rite, which provides cremation of the deceased, and the preservation of her ashes in ceramic urns.

Economic and political exchanges

Copper ingots of ox-hide At this stage you will also intensify economic and political contacts with other Mediterranean populations, notably Mycenae and Cyprus, whose inhabitants were interested in mineral resources.Significant in this context finds copper ingot of Sardinian origin ox skin also called ingots ox-hide These two islands.

Navigation, as mentioned above, plays a very important role in the economy of the company Sahrdana. They were, in fact, found ben 156 bronze cradles, recalling their seafaring tradition. The discovery then anchors along the coasts of the island, some weighing 100 pounds, attest that the boats are very strong, insomuch that, probably, hulls can reach a length of more than 15 metres.

They are, as we said before, great navigators and probably also skilled traders, travelling with their ships on international trafficking routes, establishing ties with the Mycenaean civilization, with Cyprus, Italy, Spain, and also with the Middle East and with Bulgaria.Sardinian ceramics type askoide, amphorae, tripodi and swords have been found in Spain, Huelva, Tarragona, Teruel, and Cadiz, and even beyond the Strait of Gibraltar.

In recent years are considerable trade with Etruria, mainly with Vetulonia, Vulci and Populonia. In this regard, the archaeologist Mario Torelli writes:The great darkness of this period is sometimes illuminated by a few blocks, striking finds. Among these the most notable is to consist of three nuragic bronze statuettes, a statuette of Cape in the Act of greeting, a stool and a basket, all of great ideological significance as symbols of power (the statue and the stool) and female (the basket), found in a tomb at Vulci villanovan from the beginning of the 8th century BC. The Tomb (...) maybe held the ashes of a Sardinian woman of high rank, that we can imagine coming from the island married to an exponent of rank of that society that in those prehistoric years was expanding significantly ».

In 1982 at Uluburun, Turkey's coasts, found the wreck of a ship initially considered the beginning of the bronze age.Leonardo Melis and Giangiacomo Pisu, which studies have identified the wreck as ship of the sea peoples, further fascinating that he may be the vessel through which the Shardana had visited Egypt to invite Amenhotep IV to return to the worship of the Mother goddess.

The votive bronzes, sculptures of Mont 'e Prama and bronze tablets of Tzricotu

The most significant finds of Sherden to Sardinia are the votive bronzes, that there are several scenes of daily life, and which were probably used as votive offerings, or as a reference to a heroic world that was handed down from generation to generation. The bronze statues are figures of men, boats, nuraghi and animals, and are very useful to reconstruct scenes of everyday life.

The characters depicted in bronze statuettes, we clearly indicate the presence of chiefs or Kings, recognizable because they often carry a studded stick and a mantle, interpreted as a symbol of command. But bronzes are represented in all of the different social groups, including the artisans and miners.

The large number of bronzes reffiguranti soldiers, leads to interpret that it was a vote for war. An oligarchic society, structured hierarchically, and well-organized militarily, expression of a military class made up of bodies with different degrees. Are represented, in fact, archers, infantry soldiers, warriors with sword and with with dagger, with different uniforms, which lead to think to militias belonging to bodies or in different cantons.

Based on their production, you can see different styles and degrees of perfection. During the Middle Bronze and late bronze age, style dignified setting, also called Uta, undoubtedly much older than the oldest Greek bronze sculptures so far known. And later, during the late bronze age, one of the most popular, also referred to as Mediterranean, also called Santa Vittoria to Serri.

The high-flown style bronzes unearthed at Uta

In the area around Uta, località Mount Arcosu, was discovered accidentally in 1849 under the Earth a great quantity of bronzes probably related to a great cultural building audience, which are preserved today in the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari.

The bronze statuettes in aulic style, what is also called the Uta style Chieftain guerriergli, depict and Shardana, similar as representation and how clothing to those depicted in Egypt in the temple cave Abu Simbel in the Temple of Amon Ra at Karnak and in that of Medinet Abu in Luxor, considered for this among the oldest.

Very significant, the bronze of the chieftain with a large cloak and a gnarled stick, two warriors with sword and bow and the other with sword and shield, a Slinger and two wrestlers. Also have been found eight swords one of which reproduces a deer skewered in the blade. Weapons have a shape and an invoice of Oriental, justified by the origin of the Shardana.

Uta-Bronzes: the chieftain with a large cloak and a knotty stick Uta-Bronzes: a warrior with sword and bow Uta-Bronzes: a warrior with sword and shield round Uta-Bronzetti: person with a rope in his hand, perhaps a Slinger Uta-Bronzetti: wrestlers Uta-Bronzes: a sword with a deer skewered on top of blade

These figurines show us how the bronze, in this age, both worked in Sardinia with unattainable beauty and perfection.

The Mediterranean-style bronzes unearthed at Abini near Teti and Santa Vittoria near Serri

Within the prehistoric village at Abini near Teti in Barbagia, in the province of Nuoro, numerous bronze statuettes have been found preserved today in the Archaeological Museum of Tethys. And even within the Federal nuragic sanctuary of Santa Vittoria near Serri, in this breed is in the province of Cagliari, numerous bronze statuettes have been found preserved today in the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari.

Bronzes are different from those found at Uta, and are referred to as bronze statuettes in popular style or Mediterranean style, what is also called the lifestyle Abini-Serri. Represent warriors with sophisticated hairstyles, clothes and hair are not short but collected in long braids, the helmet has the longest horns, the shields are more elaborate and not appear more certain weapons like boomerang.

Among the most significant rinvanuti for various accounting Shardana Abini, the demon with four eyes and two shields; a warrior on a vessel; and other warriors. Among those found in the sanctuary of santa Vittoria, the chieftain with a large cloak and a stick; other tribal chief; a character sitting; and, last but not least, a strange animal with a bow.

Abini-Bronzetti: Sherden, the demon with four eyes and two shields Abini-Bronzetti: Warrior on the boat Abini-Bronzetti: Warriors Serri-Bronzes: the chieftain with a large cloak and a stick Serri-Bronzetti: another chieftain Serri-Bronzetti: character sitting Serri-Bronzetti: animal with a bow

Swords, these bronzes, have an invoice of Aegean type, which suggests the existence of large cultural and commercial exchanges. Are then considered to be more recent, allegedly made at the end of the bronze age, or more probably in the iron age, after the emigration of the Shardana followed the great catastrophe of 1200 BC, perhaps by the local population or Shardana remained on the island. Or, according to a bold hypothesis of Leonardo Melis, from those of their heirs who returned later, and that the Greeks called the Phoenicians.

Other votive bronzes

In several places in Sardinia were found numerous other votive bronzes depicting warriors, praying, real animals like Bull, and even mythological animals. Even these can be found in the bronze age or iron age in 30 minutes.

In Sip, in seven locations Serra Niedda, was found a bronze representing a tribal chief with a spear with an Aries Mouflon or leash and sword. To Illorai was found an calf in bronze, Nule, within the nuraghe Voes, a Centaur-body androcefalo bullfighting. In Urzulei, cave Sa Domu 'e S'orcu, was discovered in the mid-1920s a statuette depicting a mother with her son on her lap, called the mother of murdered. And Murdoch was found a bronze representing a launeddas the famous wind instrument typical of Sardinia, with a significant foul in erection.

Locality known-Bronzetto praying with horns Locality known-Bronzetto praying with goliera SWIG-Serra Niedda: tribal chief with a spear with an Aries Mouflon or leash and sword Illorai-veal in bronze  Nule-Nuraghe Voes: Centaur-body androcefalo taurino Urzulei-Bronzetto represented <em>the mother of slain</em> Ittiri-Bronzetto of launeddas player with significant erect phallus

Famous ships

In ships of this period, of which we see playing in some votive objects, missing the oars or holes for the same, and a mysterious shaft rotating ring topped with two horns or Crescent, on which various hypotheses have been made.Several studies are underway on the ships and ports Shardana, especially Leonardo Melis and Giangiacomo Pisu, as we shall see in the following pages.

Among the most significant cradles, include the famous Moses Basket with protome cervina, found in Bultei in locality Is Argiolas; the equally famous ship with protome cervina, found at Erula in nuraghe Ispiene; and known as ship of the Sun King found at Mara inside the nuraghe Badde Rupida.

Other ships of which are playing, I'm the one with animal protomes, found at Laerru in località Mount Pasion flower; the spacecraft with taurine protomes, found in Tula; the spacecraft, also with taurine protomes, found at Ardara in locality Scala de Boes; and the aforementioned carrycot with protome of antelope found in Ogliastra. However, in addition to these, there were found many others.

Bultei-the famous Moses Basket with protome cervina found in the locality Is Argiolas Erula-the famous Moses Basket with protome cervina found in nuraghe Ispiene Mara-Nuraghe Badde Rupida: ship of the Sun King Laerru-Pasion Flower Mountain: basket with animal protomes Tula-Carrycot with protome shaped like a bull's head Ardara-Scala de Boes: basket with taurine protomes Ogliastra-Carrycot with protome of antelope

Le sculture di Mont 'e Prama

In 1974, in the locality Mont 'e Prama in the municipality of Cabras, the farmer Sissinio Poddi ends under the plow blade of giant stone head of an Archer. In 1979 began the excavations. Tells John Lane:There is an episode that still puts me the shivers. It was when Henry Atzeni discovered at Mont 'e Prama nuragic statues in the grandiose sandstone edges pond of Cabras. There was a beautiful Sun, then the sky suddenly darkened, came the storm while the statues back to light. My God, nuragic gods are awakening, I thought. Don't forget ».

Their discovery was never widely publicized, perhaps because it puts into question many alleged archaeological certainty; There are indeed other examples of statuary of the period Shardana or Phoenician. In these past 30 years by the discovery seems to have been published some essays, but only June 21, 2005 the discovery was brought to the attention of the general public from a newspaper article of Sardinia that describes the discovery of 30 two-meter-tall statues. According to scholars the statues would be the 8th-7th centuries BC, the iron age, or maybe even some of the 11th century BC, still in the bronze age, two assumptions that make it, in any case, the oldest statues in the round of the Western Mediterranean basin, predating even compared to Greek statuary.

The giants of Mont 'e Prama The statues, chalky sandstone, were inside a sacred precinct, ritte over bases marked graves in the cockpit. Are archers and presenting boxing, their eyes like solar discs, the mouth is non-existent, the foot is size 52.Shooting in superhuman dimensions of some models of the last period bronzes; as Leonardo Melis are identical clothing, facial features and hair to the bronzetti of Serri and raise all the same problems of dating.

«An important discovery, as that of Riace bronzes, a unique Mediterranean discovery "this was the comment of Superintendent of cultural heritage of Sassari, Francesco Nicosia, where the restoration is underway. Nicosia had directed the Institute who was involved in the restoration of the Bronzes found off the coast of Calabria, is an expert, and will make known to all the statues from 'stationary faces ».

It is one of the largest finds of the entire Mediterranean, which rewrites the history of Archaeology: means that the towns so far as Punic were previously inhabited by the same people who had achieved the bronze statuettes, what we call the Shardana. Who had initially made the bronze statues of Uta, then left after the great catastrophe of 1200 BC, but their heirs who remained on the island and we have accomplished, alone or with the local population, the bronzes of Serri and these gigantic statues.

The exhibition "<em>stone and the heroes-The restored sculpture Mont 'e Prama</em>» Some remnants of the statues, brought to the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, are exposed to the public, others are now being restored to Li points, at Sassari. From November 23, 2011 until December 30, 2011, was opened to the public the view 'The stone and the heroes-The restored sculpture Mont 'e Prama », in which were presented to the public for the first time the restored sculpture. And afterwards, they stand statues to represent, not only Italy but throughout Sardinia, to the London Olympics and Expo of Seoul in South Korea, a bit like it happened for the Riace bronzes.

The bronze tablets of Tzricotu

Cabras-bronze tablet of Tzricotu The passionate story of Bronze tablet of Sinis with writing Shardana started in 1996, when two scholars Oristano, John Abraham and Gigi Sanna, put on the first page of their book the picture of a mysterious tablet, which is then compared to the better-known analogues Mediterranean finds, concluding that the tablet is a royal seal of funerary type, dating from the 14th and 12th century BC. But it all comes from a photo, the original there is no trace.

However, the June 19, 1998 a young farmer of Cabras, Andrea Pasha, delivery to the professor Raimondo Zucca, curator of the Museum of Oristano, in the original the famous bronze tablet. It is the first find in Sardinia, which connotes a Cuneiform script. The signs present on the tablet are a composition scriptoria divided into anthropomorphic representations, i.e. the pittografiche alphabet of the ancient city of Ugarit, Syria, destroyed by the raids of the sea peoples in 1200 BC. This leads us to believe the bronze tablets attributable to the Shardana, and not to the Phoenician period.

Rather than greet with enthusiasm the delivery to the Superintendent of an artifact which could be sold in the underground market, you prefer to minimize the scope of the find or even get to insinuate that artifact. And so, the tablets, like the giants of Mont 'e Prama, are kept hidden from international scholars, not to endanger the historical reconstruction official Sardinia unable to read and write.

The iron age and the decline of society Shardana

The iron compare to 900 BC.and for a long time was considered an evolution of metallurgical knowledge. A more careful analysis you must recognize that it is far more difficult to work with bronze, melts at much higher temperatures, its hardness is not greater than that of the bronze well worked, but the duration is much lower.

We come then to the certainty that the transition from bronze to the machining of iron was not an evolution but a stopgap, when it began to run out the pond, to the difficulties occurring in the Mediterranean for the departure of the great navigators who had knowledge of those routes. The shortage of Tin, as a result of the destruction of the trade in this time, forced peoples to seek an alternative to bronze. Evidence of this is the fact that many bronze objects, during this period, are recycled to make weapons.

With the iron age begins the decline of civilization Shardana

With the iron age begins the decline of what was left of the Shardana, which is dominated by the Etruscans, who had previously dominated and now, thanks to mastered in the processing of new metal, throughout the Mediterranean basin.

The withdrawal within the population survived

Dorgali-village of Serra Orrios Dorgali-village of Tiscali The Interior of the island, in the mountainous part, had withdrawn that part of the population who had not wanted to abandon it, and here the civilization extends starting the reconstruction of complex Su Nuraxi di Barumini.

From this period dates the increased use of Serra Orrios near Dorgali, the best-preserved of the island, and is next to the village of Tiscali the SupraMount di Oliena, built in a large cavity in a fascinating and difficult to access that will constitute the extreme defensive bulwark during the Roman occupation.

The arrival of the Phoenicians on Sardinia

But among the various factors that determine the far-reaching changes that mark the transition from the bronze age to the iron age, is certainly taken into considezione especially stable settlement of the Phoenicians in Sardinia.

Lured by the geographic location of the island, whose coasts were a good basis for transit to the West, from the fertile soil and the richness of the mines, from what is now Lebanon in the 8th century BC.arrive on the coast of Sardinia Phoenician boats.

The next page

On the next page we will open a parenthesis of historical setting and see how in Ozieri in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Aegean Islands three great civilizations whereby the Sardinia will have to do. Having drawn to different sources, the young are relatively approximate.

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