Numerous stone structures known as nuraghi can be found on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Numerous stone structures known as nuraghi can be found on the Italian island of Sardinia. These megalithic (large stone) buildings were constructed in the second and first millennia BCE. Typically, a nuraghe has three parts: a tower-like outer shell made of layers of stones that diminish in size along the height of the structure; an inner shell of smaller stones to create a pointed interior dome; and a filler of small stones and dirt to provide stability to the structure, which stands only by force of its own weight. The tallest surviving nuraghi rise to a height of sixty feet (20 m.) and weigh several tons. Almost 7,000 of these fascinating structures still survive, primarily in the northwest and south-central sections of the island.

As the builders of nuraghi left no written record, archaeologists are unsure of their original function. They may have served religious, military, domestic, and/or civic purposes.

Thank you to Fabio Cocco Carreras for suggesting this topic.

“Tholos” of Sant’Antine, Torralba. Photo: Michael Koch

Central tower, Nuraghe, Sant’Antine, Torralba

Nuraghe Ruju, near Chiaramonti

Nuraghe Losa, near Abbasanta

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