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Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 16

La Prisgiona's Nuraghe is located in Capichera's locality in the municipality of Arzachena. The central part is covered by a tholos, that is to say, fake dolmens of more than 19 feet tall.

A 10.5 feet gigantic architrave indicates the central tower's entrance with two side towers inte-grated in a bastion that surrounds the city walls. The nuraghe's construc-tion technique is based on hard grounds consisting of thick stone blocks that su-perimpose themselves in a circular shape and that support themselves with the only weight of the stones, without using any material. Other parts constructed on other floors are united by stairs or by other nuraghes always constructed inside the city walls. They were used as arms and materials depots, and sometimes as dwelling too. The city walls are always vigorous and they can be between 13 and 16 feet thick, with an outside diameter of 98 to 164 feet in their base and they decrease progressively as the height increases, in order to form a trunk in a conical shape.

There are more or less 7000 nuraghes in Sardinia and they were built between 1800 and 238 before Christ. They were built in plains, on the hills top, in a valley mouth or next to platforms on the coast. Those that were built on the hills top have only one tower and they were used as watching towers in order to have a visual contact between themselves. The complex ones, those that have more towers surrounding a central one with a courtyard, had other functions.
Nearly one thousand nuraghes situated on the coast were used as watching towers. First, not only were they used as defense and harbor control towers but as welcome places for the merchants and to garantee the exchange of merchandise between the different cities too. There are many hypothesis, but the most believable is that the nuraghes were built as forts to defend people and animals. Later, the hipothesis of the Sardinian linguist Massimo Pittau was also beared in mind. That hipothesis supported that the nuraghes had a votive and religious function.

The Su Nuraxi nuraghe, the most important one, was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1997. One of the reasons the committee claimed was that the nuraghes constructions “answered exceptionally to the political and social conditions, with a creative and innovative use of the materials and of the techniques the prehistoric communities of the island used at that moment.”
The Su Nuraxi is the biggest nuraghes complex situated in Barumini, locality at 31 miles from Cagliari, and was built in 1100–1050 before Christ. Its central tower is 59 feet tall and is connected to the bastion that has 4 external towers, one in each corner. Inside, there is a courtyard with a well. The complex is surrounded by a defense wall with 7 towers smaller than the others. Outside those city walls, there is a village with nearly 50 circular bells that were built with earth and were coverded by wooden roof.

If we consider the little means of that time and the dificulty to place the stones in their right position (with sloping levels?), it is normal to be fascinated by those constructions that have remained during millenniums.

The Giant's Graves represent another feature of the nuraghes culture. They were used as collec-tive graves. Coddu Vecchiu's is one of Sardinia's most representative monuments. It dates from 2500 before Christ and its characteristic is to have a tunnel more than 34 feet long that was built with big dimension flagstones. In the central part, in the middle, we can observe a vertical star (14 feet tall and 6 feet long) which stone was carefully worked. There are more or less 300 Giant's Graves distributed in all Sardinia.