Barumini and Nuraghe Losa

Nuraghe are everywhere in Sardinia and the fact they are still standing is amazing; being built without mortar they are basically massive stone cairns.

The earliest are just that with perhaps a corridor inside them but they developed into these enormous complex castle-like structures with massive rooms and stairways within the walls and flat roofs supporting corbels.  They are amazing things to see and intriguing because no one knows exactly what they were for and as they left no written records there is no way to know!

Su Nuraxi (Barumini)

This is the largest and best excavated of the Nuraghe sites. Built between  the 17th  and 13th century BC it had three central rooms on top of each other and was originally about 19 metres tall.   Even now it is quite staggering.

Nuraghe Barumini

The central ‘keep’ was surrounded by 4 smaller towers which enclosed a courtyard with a well.  There was another wall outside that with 7 towers on it.

Looking down into the courtyard
Looking up from the well

The well courtyard was a regular feature of the ‘keeps’  in the Nuraghe.

The ground floor room of the Nuraghe.

Outside the ‘keep’  was an extensive town of some 100 round houses although later square ones were apparently attribbed to the Romans.

Some of the buildings outside the fort  appeared to have water basins surrounded by seats in proximity to an oven or furnace.  The theory is they were some form of sauna.

The towers was topped off with corbels, supported by the weight of stones placed on top of them, again, no mortar.

Nuraghe Losa

The Nuraghe Losa site is larger in extent than Barumini but less well excavated and is surrounded by a wall enclosing an area of about 3.5 hectares.   From the outside the Nuraghe appears to be one large triangular tower, but is in fact a central tower with three smaller ones included in the main structure.  Within the walls are a system of stairs and corridors linking the various elements of the tower with just the weight of the stones keeping it all together.

Nuraghe Losa
One corner of the tower
Apex of the conical ceiling in the centre of the tower

Of everything we’ve seen in Sardinia so far I think these Nuraghe are the most impressive.   They were built at the same period in history as the New Kingdom in Egypt but apparently in complete isolation, there being nothing else like them outside Sardinia.  They are intriguing and quite enigmatic, more so as there is no way to understand why they were built. Well worth seeing.

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