Page:EB1911 - Volume 24.djvu/228

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

general, direct and indirect taxation of all kinds, 23,000,000 lire %£920.000), a sum corresponding to 35'44 lire per head. History and Archaeology.-The early history of Sardinia is entirely unknown? The various accounts of Greek writers of the early colonizations of the island cannot be accepted, and it appears rather to have been the case that though there were various schemes formed by Greeks for occupying it or parts of it (e. g. that recorded by Herodotus i. 170, when it was proposed, after the capture of Phocaea and Teos in 545 B.c., that the remainder of the Ionian Greeks should emigrate to Sardinia) none of them ever came to anything. On the other hand, the island contains a very large number of important prehistoric monuments, belonging to the Bronze Age, Num M during which it must have been comgiaratively well g ° populated. The most conspicuous an important of these are the nuraghi (the word is said to be a corruption of mufdglié, ¢.e. large walls, but it is more probably a native word). Of e7'.:'1"':, 1' '°, i'i'f

I 1 E Z ';

I: ' ~

~ - =, ' 3 .

- Qs . .-.~*="


| - -J - f -Lee- t.

suck-A new ag

-' ~

Nuraghe Lugheras near Paulilatino, or the Nuraghe de S'Orcu near Domusnovas, the entrance may be protected by a regular system of courtyards and subsidiary nuraghi. Roughness of construction cannot be regarded as a proof, of antiquity, inasmuch as in some cases we find the additions less well built than the original nuraghe; and it is often clear from the careful work at points where it was necessary that the lack of finer construction was often simply economy ol labour. That the simpler forms, on the other hand, preceded those of more complicated plan is robable. The manner of their arrangement seems to indicate clearlly that they were intended to be fortified habitations, not tombs or temples. The niche at the entrance, which is rarely wanting, served, no doubt, for the sentxy on guard 0'|° ' ""|*





"/V/ I/

sh A

/, '/, j /f"-Y;/7, 57f


1/;'//;////fr' fi

5 /


i" C, //1/, fi /:Z ' , I/, ,

Q 1

1 —;. -7 '/A.

~ $¢0"ON» XA

FIG. 2.





/ 4

° > - 'I ¢ " e

inn an urn oun-From

Papers of the British -Schonl at Rome, v. 92, fig. r, FIG. I.—Nuraghe of Voes (Plans and Sections). these there are, as has been estimated, as many as 6000 still traceable in the island. The nuraghe in its simplest form is a circular tower about 30 ft. in diameter at the base and decreasing in diameter as it ascends; it is built of rough blocks of stone, as a rule about 2 ft. high (though this varies with the material employed); they are not mortared together, but on the inside, at any rate, the gaps between them were often filled with clay. The entrance almost invariably faces south, and measures, as a rule, 5 or 6 ft. in height by 2 in width. The architrave is flat, and there is a space over it, serving both to admit light and to relieve the pressure on it from above, and the size decreases slightly from the bottom to the top. Within the doorway is, as a rule, a niche on the right, and a staircase ascending in the thickness of the wall to the left; in front is another similar doorway leadin to the chamber in the interior, which is circular, and about 15 ft. in diameter; it has two or three niches, and a conical roof formed by the gradual inclination of the walls to the centre. It is lighted by the two doorways already mentioned. The staircase leads either to a platform on the top of the nuraghe or, more frequently, to a second chamber concentric with the first, lighted by a window which faces, as a rule, in the same direction as the main doorway. A third chamber above the second does not often occur. The majority perhaps of the nuraghi of Sardinia present this simple type; but a very large number, and, among them, those best preserved, have considerable additions. The construction varies with the site, obviously with a view to the best use of the ground from a strategic point of view. Thus, there may be a platform round the nuraghe, generally with two, three or four bastions, each often containing a chamber; or the main nuraghe may have additional chambers added to it. In a few cases, indeed, we find very complicated systems of fortification-a wall of cir cum val lat ion with towers at the corners, protecting a small settlement of nuraghe-like buildings, as in the case of the Nuraghe Losa near Abbasanta and the Nuraghe Saurecci near Guspini;2 or, as in the It has been widely believed that the Shardana, who occur as foreign mercenaries in Egypt from the time of Rameses Il. downwards, are to be identified with the Sardinians; but the question is uncertain. There were certainly no Egyptian colonies in Sardinia; the Egyptian objects and their imitations found in the island were brought there by the Phoenicians (W. H. Roscher, Lexikon der griechischen und romischen M ylhologie, ii. 392). 2 In neither of these cases have the subsidiary buildings been fully traced out. The plan of the former is given by Pinza (ap. cit.), and that of the latter by La Marmora (op. cit.). The latter seen from a distance resembles a. medieval castle crowning a hill-top. //7/Q

Z"/Q, .»;»¢;4/4,1 ' /

f » "

f, //, /., /,

/ 'f 1 /2//., , /»/, gi



° ' ":runs %

From Papers of the British School at Rome, v. 97, fig. 3. FIG. 3.—Nuraghe Aiga (Planand Section). and would be on the unprotected side of any one coming in; the door, too, is narrow and low, and closed from within. The approach is, as we have seen, often guarded by additional constructions; the fact that the door and window face south is another argument in favour of this theory, and the access from one part of the interior to another is sometimes purposely rendered difficult by a sudden vertical rise of 5 or 6 ft. in the stairs; while the objects found in them household pottery, &c.-and near them (in some cases silos containing carbonized grain and dolia) point to the same conclusion. Numerous fragments of obsidian arrow-heads and chips are also found in and near them all over the island. The only place where obsidian is known to be found in Sardinia in a natural state is the Punta Trebina, a mountain south-east of Oristano. The choice of site, too, is decisive. Sometimes they occu y the approaches to tablelands, the narrowest points of gorges, or the fords of rivers; sometimes almost inaccessible mountain tops or important points on ridges; and it may be noticed that, where two important nuraghi are not visible from one another, a small one is interpolated, showing that there was a system of signalling from one to another. Or again, a group of them may occupy a fertile plain, a river valley or a tableland,3 or they may stand close to the seashore. Generally there is, if possible, a water-supply in the vicinity; sometimes a nuraghe guards a sprin, or there may be a well in the nuraghe itself. A final argument is the existence in some cases of a village of circular stone buildings of similar construction to the nuraghi, but only 15 to 25 ft. in diameter, at the foot of a nuraghe, which, like the baronial castle of a medieval town, towered above the settlement. “Those of the Giara are fully described by A. Taramelli and F. Nissardi in Manumenti dei Lincei, vol. xviii.; Nissardi's map of the liurfla, published by G. Pinza, ibid. vol. xi. sqq., may also be

consu te .