During the Nuragic Age on Monte Idda, there was a nuraghe with a village next to it. Archaeological digs in this settlement, now almost completely destroyed, have recovered many pottery items, the study of which has provided elements to date them, in the period between the 16th and 13th century B.C. 

The pans are terracotta containers, round or oval in shape, with a flat bottom and low sides, used for cooking food (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - Pan with comb decoration from the Chesseddu Nuraghe in Uri, SS (From Melis 2003, p. 62, fig. 55).

Most of the items found during the digs on Monte Idda belong to this type of product (fig. 2). They are usually truncated cone in shape, with a diameter from 12 to 45 cm; only a few examples have an indistinct bottom. The clay is rough, with many limestone and mineral elements, making it porous and crumbling. Many have handles, either convex or bands, positioned inaccurately. The outer surface often have plant imprints, probably left by the straw on which the pottery containers were left to dry.

Fig. 2 - Truncated cone shape pans in the Monte Idda Nuraghe, Posada (from FADDA 1984, table 4).

The decoration on these items was made using a comb, that was passed along or impressed on the inner surface of the pans, almost always on the bottom. Another distinction was the decorative motifs: the most common one was a sunburst, sometimes completed with concentric patterns and intermediate zigzag lines; there are also metope arranged like on a chess board, creating alternating empty spaces and full spaces, with more of the former in some cases. Finally, the zigzag pattern can be combined with concentric circular bands, that may be pressed into the clay, imitating the decorations on bell-shaped vases (figs. 3-5). In comparison with similar contexts it has been found that this type of pottery was found in several contexts in northern Sardinia, while it is rare in southern Sardinia, where olla jars similar to the ones found at the Monte Idda Nuraghe are often found. These materials have been dated to between the 17th and the 13th century B.C., in a transition period between the Bonnanaro Culture and the later Nuragic Age.

Fig. 3 - Pans from the Monte Idda with a comb-type geometric decoration (from Fadda 1984, table 5).
Fig. 4 - Pans from the Monte Idda Nuraghe with a comb-type geometric decoration (from Fadda 1984, table. 6) were found inside.
Fig. 5 - Pans from the Monte Idda Nuraghe with a comb-type geometric decoration (from Fadda 1984, table. 7).



  • A. CORDA, M. FRAU, Ceramica. La produzione della Sardegna preistorica, Cagliari 2001.
  • M.A. FADDA, Il nuraghe Monte Idda di Posada e la ceramica a pettine in Sardegna, in W.H. WALDREN et alii, The Deya Conference of Prehistory. Early Settlement in the Western Mediterranean Islands and their Peripheral Areas. BAR International Series 229, pp. 671-702.
  • M.A. FADDA, Posada: preistoria sarda all’ombra di un castello. Archeologia Viva 85, pp. 88-93.
  • M.A. FADDA, Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Nuoro. Sardegna archeologica. Guide e itinerari 17, Sassari 2006.
  • G. FLORIS, Il castello medioevale della Fava (Posada). Acta historica et archaeologica mediaevalia 29, pp. 257-297.
  • P. MELIS, Civiltà nuragica, Sassari 2003.