Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju, Alghero

Ruin · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
The necropolis of Anghelu Ruju is a pre-Nuragic archaeological site located north of the city of Alghero, Province of Sassari, Sardinia. 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 the winery of Sella&Mosca. A human skull and a tripod vessel were found on that occasion. Following these findings, the archaeologist Antonio Taramelli carried out, the following year, the first excavations of the site discovering ten domus de janas. Later 21 others came to light and further research works led to 38 domus discovered.

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 prove 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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Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju reviews

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  • This archeological site has necropoli that date back over 5000 years. Was fun crawling through the series of interconnecting tombs. Bring good foot wear, clothes you don't mind getting dirty and a...  more »
  • We were staying close by and visited with our 11 year old who had great fun climbing in and out of these ancient caves with permission! Sadly there had been a lot of rain so there was a lot of...  more »
  • Another must visit sight if you are interested in Sardinias Nuragic past, good value for money and handy if you are doing multiple things in one day as you won't need more than an hour to look round.....  more »
  • Fascinating place with truly long history, highly recommended. In Southern Sardinia, there's a similar necropolis of Montessu.
  • It is interesting to look around and see the history, however I wouldn't recommend it if you are using public transport to get there as the buses are very infrequent and you might get stuck! The woman working when we went was incredibly friendly and helpful however and happily got us a taxi back.
  • Definitely worth a visit.
  • Impressively old. Good explanations in 5 languages. Great that one can enter all graves. No shadow and very hot.
  • History goes back a long way. A visit that takes you back a bit.

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