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Early Iron Age

Early Iron Age

Early Iron Age

Early Iron Age

The passage from the Final Bronze Age to the Iron Age (900-500 BC) is marked by profound changes, triggered by various factors, among which the Phoenicians' permanent settlement in Sardinia must certainly be included.

Ceramic products change, which are once again richly decorated in a style called 'geometric' and 'orientalizing'.

The structure of some nuraghes changes, which undergo serious changes or even the partial dismantling of towers and bastions, as witnessed by the Genna Maria nuraghe in Villanovaforru.

The structure of the villages changes, with the transition from the isolated circular hut to the complex of environments delimited by a single wall perimeter with a common central courtyard (the so-called “isolated”).

The production of bronze weapons is increasing, as is the production of bronzes. The bronze figurines, created as an ex-vote, represent various figures: archers, hoplites, boxers, wrestlers, various female figures, various animals, objects related to everyday life, models of nuraghe, spaceships and more.

The discovery of large stone statues at the necropolis of Monti Prama (Cabras) deserves special mention. In fact, these are artistic artifacts that (with the exception of the sculptures of archaic Greece) do not find similarities between contemporary Mediterranean productions, even if, it must be said from now on, precisely the chronology of these works represents a serious scientific problem.

The sculptures of Monti Prama were found in a necropolis with individual burials, and this fact is already an important fact, since in the Nuragic age the norm was represented by collective burials inside the “tombs of the giants”. About thirty pieces were found, fragmentary.

These sculptures represent, following an iconographic style that is absolutely consistent with that adopted for the small bronze statuary, various male human figures: archers, hoplites, boxers. In addition to human figures, however, several examples of the so-called 'nuraghe models' were found (and this is also an important fact), or sculptures that can be interpreted as small-scale depictions of this type of monument.

The creation - in stone or bronze - of models of nuraghe represents one of the most striking and eloquent signs of the profound changes taking place within the Nuragic cultural system in this period, especially if placed in due connection with another phenomenon of great importance: the cessation of the construction of new nuraghes, the abandonment of some of them and the partial destruction of some monuments with the superposition of new huts (as a result, by the nuragics themselves).

In such a context of cultural changes, it seems legitimate to interpret the creation of the models of nuraghe, as well as of the great statues of Monti Prama, as explicit symbols of cultural memory to which the task of stemming the risk of identity drift that every cultural change inevitably brings with it was entrusted.


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