Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju

Alghero, Italy

The necropolis of Anghelu Ruju is an archaeological site located in the town of Alghero. It is the largest necropolis of pre-Nuragic Sardinia.

The necropolis was discovered accidentally in 1903 during the excavations for the construction of a farmhouse. In that occasion were found a human skull and a tripod vessel. Following these discoveries, the archaeologist Antonio Taramelli effected, the following year, the first excavations of the site. In total were discovered 38 domus de janas.

Within the many chambers are numerous finds of grave goods (vases, statuettes of the hypothesized 'mother goddess', weapons, necklace beads etc.), which allow us to date the necropolis to the Late Neolithic (Ozieri culture 3200-2800 BC) and they attest its use even in the Copper and the early Bronze Age, between 2800 and 1600 BC, (cultures of Abealzu-Filigosa, Monte Claro, Bell Beaker, Bonnanaro). Furthermore, finds of flint tools, mace-heads, arrowheads, axes and beads suggest a culture which emphasized hunting and warrior prowess; whereas silver rings, copper daggers appearing to originate from Spain, an awl which likely was from southern France, a copper ring of an eastern European style, and an axe which was from the British Isles indicate that Sardinia was heavily involved in this time period with a great deal of international trade. The Sardinians, for their part, were known to possess an ample amount of valuable obsidian from Monte Arci, a long-dormant volcano on the island.

Among the most striking features of the Necropolis are the numerous carvings of long-horned bulls' heads, in and around at least three of the tombs. These have been hypothesized to support the 'Mother Goddess' theory, as well as to suggest a sort of a Sun cult.

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Alghero, Italy
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Details

Founded: 3200-1600 BCE
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julia Boechat (13 months ago)
Very interesting, but pretty much impossible to visit with public transportaton. Cattogno buses have tours at Tuesdays, if enough people are interested, but I didn't luck out. The necropolis itself can be bad for people afraid of tight spaces, since you pretty much have to crawl in, but it's very beautiful on the inside.
Danny Asti (14 months ago)
It could be better maintained
Alessandra Pardu (16 months ago)
Clean, very well kept, it deserves a visit!
iulian iulian (2 years ago)
Super piece of history. You have to visit it in the end of the Day because is very sunny. I enjoyed a lot!
Brad Deveson (2 years ago)
As a gent of a certain age, I did scramble down into some necropoli and it was worth it. Actually saw the bull's horns in one too. Ideally you would have a sturdy and adventurous small child with a hard hat, web cam and torch to insert into the smaller openings to record for comfortable future armchair explorations.
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