The well of Nuragic origin of Santu Antine

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Archaeological site: the well of Nuragic origin of Santu Antine

Sardinia's archaeological heritage is vast and for the most part hidden or difficult to reach. Therefore, we decided to recreate within the P.AR.C. part of the sacred well, of Nuragic origin, located on the hill of Santu Antine.

The well of Nuragic origin of Santu Antine

The origins of the site

From the top of the hill of Santu Antine, 590 m above sea level, the entire surrounding area is dominated: at dawn the gaze easily reaches the sea. An important control point from which the routes of penetration from the southeastern coast of Sardinia and Campidano, to the productive and mining areas of the interior, are dominated. The ruins of two nuraghi ascertain the earliest human presence in distant times; in turn, the Punic walls and the Roman chapel prove the continuity of frequentation. On the western front, the hill has been the subject of studies, supervised by archaeologist Francesco Guido. A well of Nuragic origin of probable sacral significance was discovered. Its depth of as much as 39 meters makes it a unique structure for the time in which it was built, as well as a repository of historical artifacts and information. Already Taramelli mentions the well located within the Punic defense walls. The upper part of the structure is now gone; only a part was found inside the well, along with a Roman winch for drawing water. Both of these elements provide information for the historical reconstruction depicted in the diorama. The well cavity is also banded with regular ashlars, of trachyte at the top and limestone at the bottom. The hill of Santu Antine has returned additional late antique archaeological evidence. A lithic chest tomb made of basalt stone and containing the remains of two adult male individuals, whose bone remains showed the results of several fractures that later healed. A bronze "barbarian" type affibbiaglio was found in the slopes of the hill during the first excavation campaigns. Still on the hill Spano reports the discovery of a burial formed of slabs and containing numerous iron spears, a horse bit and numerous other objects, which have since been lost.

The archaeological site today

The hill of Santu Antine is a historical monument, rich in the ruins of the peoples who inhabited it. Little is left of the ancient structures but the large quantity of artifacts found allows us to tell its story. Through these materials and the information provided by them, two dioramas were created, guided by the expertise of the archaeologist who supervised the excavations, Prof. Francesco Guido, official in charge of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle province di Sassari e Nuoro. The two models are part of the set-up of the archaeological section of the P.AR.C. The first diorama shows the Nuragic settlement as it is supposed to have been originally; the second model recreates the environment and artifacts that the archaeologist found in the bottom of the pit. Since February 2019, it has been possible to view the inside of the well through a touch screen monitor and immersive reality viewers. We invite you, having visited the P.AR.C., to climb the hill and at the top admire the area and for a moment indulge in fantasizing about what it may have looked like in the past.


Many objects are found during excavations, dating back as far as Roman times. About 1,800 coins, probably thrown into the well as offerings to the gods, several bronze and lead vessels, figured handles of cauldrons, spearheads, and two small bronzes. Of the latter, the first is a male figure, standing, leaning on a tall staff. A deity depicted in ritual nudity. He holds the scepter with his left hand, and it can be assumed that the missing right hand was raised and open. A "pillar-like" nose, that is, a pyramidal volume with a vertex fading upward, was applied to the round-shaped face. A large braided necklace, knotted below the neck, descends to the chest. There are clear similarities with the bronzetti from Santa Cristina di Paulilatino, Mandas, domus de jana di Riu Mulinu di Bonorva, and nuraghe Flumenelongu di Alghero. The second figure, also male, represents a bidder. The statue holds his right hand, which is of considerable size, high and open. She wears a short skirt and wears a round scalloped headdress. The finding of these small bronzes in the Genoni area confirms the Syro-Palestinian frequentation of the innermost areas of Sardinia, compared to those where similar finds have occurred. These figurines highlight relationships between indigenous peoples and eastern peoples. They can be interpreted either as valuable objects offered as gifts to local mayors to facilitate exchange relationships, or as ex-votos offered to local deities by both foreign and Sardinian populations. We also recall the discovery in the locality of Santu Perdu of a bronze statuette depicting Sardus Pater, a Sardinian-Punic deity of the 4th-3rd centuries B.C. The bronze, in perfect condition, is kept in the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari. A figurine depicting a horn player, preserved in the same Cagliari Museum, was donated by Cav. Sanna-Randaccio to Taramelli around 1905. This was also found at the now ruined site of Santu Pedru.

Video of the well of santu Antine

Video of the nuragic well of Santu Antine - In flight over the Giare

Old video on Ignatius Secci's well.

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