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The territory of Sardara in Roman Times

During Roman times the territory of Sardara experienced a widespread human presence, as is evidenced by the Nuraghic sites of Nuraghe Arrigau, Canale Linu, Nuraghe Axiurridu, Nuraghe Perra, Nuraghe Arrubiu and Santa Caterina which experienced a continuity of life even in later periods. Evidence of the various life stages of the Roman period have also been found in other locations such as Barumeli, Donigala, Nuraghe Jana and Nuratteddu.

Archaeological researches carried out at the quatrefoil Nuraghe of Ortu Comidu (fig. 1), located a few kilometres from Sardara, have revealed that the monument was also used during Roman times. However, the most important town in this period was that of Santa Maria de is Acquas, where the ancient thermae stood, known as Aquae Neapolitanae or Aquae calidae Neapolitanae.

Of the big thermal complex, a square pool (9.5 metres wide), interpreted as a natatio and a smaller structure, consisting of a large rectangular room with a barrel vault, which held two rectangular pools and two swimming pools, are still visible (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - Plan of the Roman baths in S. Maria de is Acquas (from ZUCCA 1987, Tav. 27, p. 258).

Numerous grave goods have been recovered from the necropolis discovered in the territory of Sardara, many of which are currently on display in the Civic Archaeological Museum of Sardara (fig. 2).

The necropolis of Masoni Oneddu consisted of pit graves covered with slabs of limestone, sometimes reinforced by pieces of slabs placed vertically. The material found during the archaeological research carried out in 1909 by Antonio Taramelli, in particular that recovered with the excavation of three tombs, allows dating the necropolis to the first imperial age, from the Augustan period.

Fig. 2 - Roman dated artefacts from the territory of Sardara: a) lamp; b) small jug; c) Bone hairpin (photos the property of R.A.S.).

The necropolis of Terr'e Cresia was discovered in 1986 and explored several times until 1999.

The approximately one hundred identified graves belong to the pit type and are covered by heavy stone slabs. Both burial and cremation graves have been found which may be dated, thanks to the information provided by the grave goods, to a time span ranging between the first century B.C. and the III A.D. (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - Reconstruction of one of the tombs in the necropolis of Terr’e Cresia (Photo by the Civic Archaeological Museum of Sardara).



  • 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.
  • M.G. ARRU, La necropoli romana di Terr’e Cresia, in ARCHEOLOGIA A SARDARA 2003, pp. 45-52.
  • L. USAI, Le testimonianze archeologiche dal territorio di Sardara, in ARCHEOLOGIA A SARDARA 2003, pp. 41-44.
  • R. ZUCCA, Neapolis e il suo territorio, Oristano 1987, pp. 138-139.
  • A. TARAMELLI, Scoperta di una necropoli di età romana in regione “Masoni Oneddu”, Notizie Scavi, 1909, pp. 332-335.