Detailed sheets

Metal craft activities

The development of craft activity linked to metal work on the S’Arcu ’e is Forros sacred site is directly documented, for example, by structures that were low-fire ovens and kilns used to melt copper, lead and iron minerals (fig. 1) and for the recovery of votive offers, from ironwork waste, and from stone hammers for breaking up the minerals made from stones from the underlying river.

Fig. 1 - Melting ovens (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

An incredible amount of bronze and iron items have led to the belief that this religious complex was the most important metalwork centre of Nuragic Sardinia, the importance of which shows the existence of a vast domestic trade of metalwork items in the Ogliastra area.

The materials found (figs. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), produced locally or imported after trading with Etruria and the East, can be dated between the 12th and 6th century B.C. They are mostly votive offerings, including full items or fragments such as swords, buckles, axes, cauldrons, arrows and spears, buttons, daggers and incense holders that were preserved in the storage of the temporary dwelling place and linked to the carrying out of community celebrations.

2,3,4, 5, 6,7,8
Figs. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - Bronze objects found (photo from Archivio Fotografico RAS).


  • FADDA M.A., Antichi sardi purificati. Atto secondo, in Archeologia Viva, Firenze gennaio 2011.
  • FADDA M.A., Il villaggio santuario di S'Arcu 'e Is Forros, Sardegna archeologica. Guide e itinerari, 48, Sassari 2012.
  • FADDA M.A., S’Arcu’e Is Forros: Nuragici, Filistei e Fenici fra i monti della Sardegna, in Archeologia Viva, 155, XXXI, Firenze 2012, pp. 46-57.
  • FADDA M.A., Villagrande Strisaili. Il santuario nuragico di S'Arcu 'e Is Forros e le insulae degli artigiani fusori, in Nel segno dell’acqua. Santuari e bronzi votivi della Sardegna nuragica, Sassari 2014, pp. 199-227.