Detailed sheets

The archaeological museum (its history and description of the exhibition)

The “Casa Zapata” museum has three sections: archaeological, ethnographic and historical (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - The “Casa Zapata” museum (from

In 1990, the walls of an imposing Nuraghe complex were discovered under the structure of a seventeenth century palace. The archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu called it Nuraxi ‘e Cresia, due to its proximity with the parish church (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - The ruins of the Nuragic site Nuraxi 'e Cresia (from

The main building houses the archaeological section; next to it are the agricultural buildings, that are home to the ethnographic and historical sections.

While the visitor walks above the structures relating to Nuraxi 'e Cresia via a system of suspended walkways and transparent floors, in the archaeological section he is accompanied along the entire route by educational panels that show a summary of Nuragic civilisation.

The first room on the second floor offers a summary of the history of Su Nuraxi split into five periods of time, identified by the archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu, where we find a selection of artefacts in five display cabinets. The second and third rooms offer some important contexts of the village surrounding Su Nuraxi (fig. 3). These include artefacts found in hut 80, from where the famous betyl (a stone fixed vertically in the ground, similar to a menhir) reproducing a single-tower Nuraghe originates. The visit ends in a room on the first floor where the artefacts are presented following a criteria of type, with the intention of making the original use of the items and the daily activities carried out in the Nuragic Era, clearer.

Fig. 3 - Some pottery items from the Nuragic Age can be seen inside the display cabinet (from

The historical section of the museum tells the history of the Zapata family and its relations with the people of Barumini. Inside this section, there are original documents, reproductions, old photographs and items, divided into themes, that show the history of the members of this family from the early years when they arrived in Sardinia. In the ethnographic section, there are handmade tools used daily, made using methods handed down from generation to generation, with poor materials such as wood, iron, leather, fabric, rushes, clay and glass. Making them required manual skills that were handed down the generations as a precious heritage of production experience.

The ethnographic section also houses a space reserved for launeddas, a characteristic Sardinian musical instrument made with reeds.

The artefacts, together with historical documents, the launeddas and the ethnographic materials in the museum are the hub of projects to enhance and promote the area, carried out by the Municipality of Barumini and the Fondazione Barumini Sistema Cultura, with the aim of bringing the museum to the same level of quality as national and international standards require.



  • MURRU G. (a cura di), Barumini: Casa Zapata, il nuraghe museo, Fondazione Barumini Sistema Cultura, 2007.
  • REALI P., Architetture 1982-2007, Studio progetto S.r.l. (Roma).
  • SIRIGU R., La memoria di Barumini nel palazzo sul nuraghe, in Darwin Quaderni, 3, 2007, pp. 86-96.