Detailed sheets

The territory of Bonorva in the Proto-historic Era

A large number of Nuragic Era monuments (17th-6th century B.C.) have been identified in Bonorva: nuraghi, villages, megalithic boundaries, water fonts and giants’ tombs. It is difficult to establish the time of construction and period of duration and use for most of them, due to the insufficient and insignificant findings on the surface that are associated with them.

More than 50 nuraghi have been registered up to now, most of which are now ruins; single-tower or complexes, they have all been built using natural rock that affected the layout each time (fig. 1).

They stand at the end of the valley and communication roads, and may have been watch towers connected to a real defence system.

Fig. 1 - Section of the Puttu de Inza nuraghe (by TARAMELLI 1919, fig. 30, pages 73 - 74).

There is a fortified complex on the Su Monte plain, that comprises eight megalithic boundaries (muras). The boundaries are close to each other and are formed by big walls, 2 metres high and 2.5 metres thick, rounded and trapezoidal in shape, and accessible from a rectangular entrance (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Old photo of the Mura de Sos Alvanzales wall (by TARAMELLI 1919, fig. 15, pages 37 - 38).

The funeral areas show the presence of giants’ tombs, located next to the nuraghi, with which they are closely topographically and culturally related.

Fig. 3 - Layout of Pala’e Sulzaga-Bonorva giants’ tombs. (By IALONGO, USAI, VANZETTI 2012, fig. 2, pages 1453.

Built in local stone, already plundered in ancient times, they have mostly been destroyed. Recently, the Pala’e Sulzaga giants’ tomb (fig. 3), of which there is now only a short stretch of two rows¬ of stones that border the burial chamber, underwent an archaeological dig, and discovered pottery findings from the Recent and Late Bronze Age.

Religious architecture was instead documented by the fountain at Su Lumarzu (fig. 4), known from the beginning of the 20th century, dated between the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age.

Fig. 4 - Su Lumarzu nuragic font. (From


  • BONINU A., IALONGO N., SCHIAPPELLI A., VANZETTI A., La fonte nuragica di Su Lumarzu, Bonorva (SS), in La Preistoria e la Protostoria della Sardegna, Atti della XLIV Riunione Scientifica (Cagliari, Barumini, Sassari 23-28 novembre 2009), Firenze 2012, pp. 1457-1463.
  • CAPRARA R., La necropoli di S. Andrea Priu, Sardegna Archeologica. Guide e Itinerari, 3, Sassari 1986, pp. 60-64.
  • CONTU E., Pozzi sacri: ipotesi ricostruttive, in Sacer, Bollettino della Associazione Storica Sassarese, VI, 6, Sassari 1999, pp. 125-148.
  • MELIS P., Bonorva, Su Lumarzu e il culto delle acque, in Bonorva, archeologia, Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, pp. 15-20.
  • TARAMELLI A., Fortezze, Recinti, Fonti sacre e Necropoli preromane nell’Agro di Bonorva (Prov. di Sassari), con rilievi e disegni del Prof. Francesco Giarrizzo, in Monumenti Antichi dei Lincei, XXV, 1919, coll. 816-825.