Numerous traces of life in Roman times have been found in the Tortolì area.

In 1976, in the immediate vicinity of the country church of S. Lussorio (fig. 1), on land being ploughed, they found a grey granite, cylindrical stone, fragmented at the bottom and top (fig. 2).

Fig. 1 - The church of San Lussorio, near where the stone was found
Fig. 2 - The stone of Tortolì (from Meloni 2000, p. 1697).

An epigraph engraved on its surface (figs. 3-4), datable to the late imperial Roman period, records the presence of (servants) vulgares, that is peasants of a servant status which made sure the praedia, the Roman farms, were managed correctly. The vulgares of the Tortolì stone were probably generic slave labourers who worked on an estate in the area.

Fig. 3 - The stone of Tortolì (photo by M.G. Arru).
Fig. 4 - Detail of the inscription B‘v’ULG/ARES (photo by M.G. Arru).

Along with the stone they found fragments of tiles, bricks, a granite column drum and fragments from the rims of dolia (large vases) which seemed to belong to a grain store. There was probably a farm in this area with rooms used to store cereals, oil and wine. It is not currently possible to understand what that stone marked. It could refer to a burial, border or a building.


  • A. MASTINO, Storia della Sardegna antica, Nuoro 2005.
  • V. NONNIS, Tortolì, in Ogliastra. Antica Cultura-Nuova Provincia, Sestu-Bari Sardo 2005, pp. 143-153.
  • A. MASTINO, P. RUGGERI, La romanizzazione dell’Ogliastra, in MELONI, NOCCO 2001, pp. 151-190.
  • P. MELONI, Bulgares o (servi) vulgares in Sardegna?, in L'Africa romana, XIII, Roma 2000, pp. 1695-1702.
  • P. MELONI, La Sardegna romana, Sassari 1991.
  • R.J. ROWLAND, Ritrovamenti romani in Sardegna, Roma 1981.
  • A. BONINU, Tortolì, località S. Lussorio (Nuoro), in Nuove testimonianze archeologiche della Sardegna centro-settentrionale, Sassari, 1976, pp. 105-106. ?