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The nuragic well of Santu Antine di Genoni

On an artificial terrace overlooking the village of Genoni, at a lower elevation than the top of the hill, is a well dating in its original layout to theNuragic age. The important hydraulic work, essential for water supply at the site but also serving a cultic function, is the deepest of its kind currently known in Sardinia. In fact, the well, which has a circular cross section, reaches a maximum depth of 39.85 meters.

The upper part, up to a depth of 6.5 meters, is made of molded trachyte ashlars. In contrast, the remaining part is built with limestone blocks, a material that cannot be found locally but is transported from neighboring areas because it is better suited to ensure the quality and taste of the water. The currently visible circular mouth, 75 cm in diameter, must originally have been covered by a structure, some ashlars of which were found inside the pit. The excavation of the fill, carried out by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Sassari and Nuoro between the 1980s and the early 1990s of the last century, has returned a considerable amount of material, which is of extreme interest for the reconstruction of the various phases of occupation of the site.

Significant finds from the Nuragic period include a jug hooked to the end of a votive sword, an elephant ivory dagger handle, fragments of two stone nuraghe models, and two small bronzes depicting male characters. One of these, probably produced in the Near East in the 10th century B.C., depicts a naked man with a woven necklace descending on his chest and a scepter rod held in his right hand. The second bronze, from the Nuragic area instead, is an offerer, with hand raised in blessing or greeting, dressed in a short skirt and a capped headdress. Ceramic artifacts, on the other hand, include dozens of jugs and some pilgrim flasks. From the fill of the pit come numerous materials, especially ceramics, which document its continued use in the Punic and Roman periods.

To the Roman period in particular, in addition to numerous coins dated between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, parts of a bronze pulley, wooden elements and bronze and copper situlae, pertinent to the water drawing system used in this phase, also date back.

Article by Dr. Chiara Pilo – Officer in charge of archaeological protection – Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.

In flight over the Giare - The nuragic well of Santu Antine di Genoni

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