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The Archaeological Museum of Villa Abbas

The Villa Abbas Civic Archaeological Museum is located in piazza Libertà in Sardara, in front of the parish church of the Assumption, housed in a building of the old town which dates back to the first decade of the nineteenth century (fig. 1).

The building, formerly used as a town hall, military station and elementary school, has been completely restored on behalf of the City by architects Roberto Badas and Francesco Falqui, in order to adapt it to its new role of museum.

After the set-up curated by the Archaeological Superintendence for the Provinces of Cagliari and Oristano, the inauguration took place on April 16th, 1997.

Fig. 1 - The building that houses the Villa Abbas Archaeological Museum (from

The museum exhibition occupies two floors of the building, where 8 rooms and 27 showcases display archaeological materials coming from the territory of Sardara and its neighbouring Municipalities (fig. 2).

A first room, devoted to teaching, provides visitors with basic information concerning the chronological phases that range from prehistoric times to the late Middle Ages and presents the techniques of working stone and the production of ceramics.

The second room is dedicated to the remains coming from the area of the well temple and the Nuraghic village of Sant’ Anastasia, which take their name from the church built in the Byzantine Age on the prehistoric structures.


Fig. 2 - One of the exhibition halls (from

The other rooms (III, IV and part of V) display grave goods from the necropolis of Roman Age of Terr'e Cresia (Sardara) which may be dated back to a time span ranging between the first century B.C. and the III A.D. In addition, inside the well-shaped showcase, some cremation and burial tombs have been recreated with the skeleton of the buried people together with the related ceramic, glass and metal artefacts (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - Well-shaped showcase with the reconstruction of one of the graves of Terr'e Cresia (from

The second part of the fifth room presents the most significant findings from the urban and suburban area of Sardara.

The sixth room houses the medieval section and is dedicated to the fortified complex of Monreale, with the exhibition of ceramics (ceramics and graphite) and the wood, bone and metal artefacts which bear witness to life in the castle.

The various stages of clay working to make bricks and tiles used in some structures of the keep have also been reconstructed (fig. 4).

Fig. 4 - Reconstruction of a hypothetical area of production of clay objects (from

Rooms VII and VIII are devoted to the territory of the XVIII Comunità Montana (The Mountain Community) (Arbus, Gonnosfanadiga, Guspini, Pabillonis, San Gavino Monreale, Sardara, Vallermosa, Villacidro), to the prehistoric artefacts of Padru Jossu (a hypogeum in Sanluri), S. Antonio (Serrenti) and S. Sperate, and, in particular, to Punic clay ex-voto from ancient Neapolis (Guspini).

In order to allow visually impaired and blind people to also enjoy the museum, a tactile path has been arranged with a series of reproductions of the pottery displayed in the showcases.


  • D. COCCO, Il Civico Museo Archeologico Villa Abbas, in Archeologia a Sardara. Da Sant’Anastasia a Monreale, in Quaderni Didattici della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Cagliari e Oristano, 11, 2003, pp. 65-82.