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The tombs of the giants of S’Ortali ’e su Monte

In San Salvatore, not far from the sea and beaches of Orrì, you have the archaeological area of S’ortali ‘e su Monte. This is a real monumental complex formed by domus de janas, menhirs, one nuraghe and two tombs of giants, extending over about 8000 m2 on a granite hill dominating the nearly coastal plain.

The first tomb, survey in the Eighties of the XX century, is visible on the left-hand side of the road leading to the settlement of S’Ortali ‘e su Monte (figs. 1-2). The tomb, 13.30 metres long, faces East and has an exedra with orthostates with the stalk's lower part in granite (repositioned recently; fig. 3). The funeral chamber, rectangular in shape, built with medium-sized blocks, was originally covered by large stone slabs. Dig data has shown how the funerary monument was used until the IX-VIII century B.C. (Late Bronze - early Iron Age). Two granite menhirs, datable between about 2700 and 1800 B.C., are placed in front of the tomb of giants, at a distance of about ten metres.

Fig. 1 - Plan of the tomb of giants of S’Ortali ’e su Monte (from Fadda 2012, p. 30, fig. 39).
Fig. 2 - The exedra of the tomb of giants of S’Ortali ’e su Monte (photo Unicity S.p.A.).
Fig. 3 - Lower part of the stalk with frame in relief (from Fadda 2012, p. 29, fig. 37).

The second burial area is at the bottom of the hill of S’Ortali ’e Su Monte. It is known as the tomb of giants of Pala Niedda and is currently inside private property. 12 metres long, it still has a row of outer wall built with granite blocks and an exedra with slighted arched wings. It has not yet been surveyed by archaeologists and the lack of cultural material remains means there is no way to know whether the monument is of the same period as the nuraghe and the other tomb.

Fig. 4 - Plan of the tomb of giants of Pala Niedda (from Fadda 2012, p. 31, fig. 40).





  • ARCHEO SYSTEM, Progetto “I Nuraghi”. Ricognizione archeologica in Ogliastra, Barbagia, Sarcidano. I Reperti, Milano 1990.
  • M.C. LOCCI, I.3.38, Complesso archeologico di S’Ortali ‘e su Monte, in Archeo System 1990, p. 72.
  • M.C. LOCCI, I.3.36, Tomba di giganti di Pala Niedda, in Archeo System 1990, p. 71.
  • M.C. LOCCI, I.3.51, Tomba di giganti di S’Ortali ‘e su Monte, in Archeo System 1990, pp. 78-79.
  • M.A. FADDA, Tortolì. I monumenti neolitici e il nuraghe S’Ortali ‘e su Monte, Sardegna Archeologica. Guide e Itinerari, 49, Sassari 2012.
  • C. NIEDDU, Complesso di San Salvatore, in Siti archeologici d’Ogliastra. Itinerari alla scoperta di siti prenuragici e nuragici nel territorio dei paesi dell’Ogliastra, Lanusei 2006, pp. 54-55.