Detailed sheets

The "rotonde con bacile"

Inside blocks formed by a  set of rooms arranged around a communal area in the Nuragic village of Su Nuraxi (huts 51, 64, 65, 90, 175, 195, t, and ππ), eight small circular rooms were discovered , that can be traced to the type named in archaeological literature as “rotonde con bacile” (figs. 1, 2).

Fig. 1 - Archaeological area of Su Nuraxi, courtyard house 42, room 90 with bench and central basin (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).
Fig. 2 - Su Nuraxi, courtyard house 20, room 65 with bench and central basin (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

The buildings, used for rituals inside dwellings, are round, with a stone bench around the perimeter. A stone basin was placed in the centre of the room, on a stone floor, and sloping in the direction of one or more holes open at the base of the seats, for the liquids to flow away (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - A: Block 20 and “rotonda” 65. B: Block 42 and “rotonda” 90 (from Paglietti 2009, fig. 1, p. 338).

Stone tubs, fireplaces, and water channels are all connected to it, and wall niches, proving the use of fire and water.

Similar findings have been made in Nuragic villages in Sardinia dating to the Final Bronze Age or to structure and cultural contexts of the early Iron Age. Observing the “rotonde con bacile” and their characteristics has brought us to offer various hypotheses about their use: a space for baking bread, a laboratory for making mastic oil, a laboratory for metalwork, an area used as a thermal bath, “capanne del sudore”, a place used to worship water, an area for domestic worship.



  • LILLIU G., Il nuraghe di Barumini e la stratigrafia nuragica, in Studi Sardi, XII-XIII (1952-1954), Sassari 1955.
  • LILLIU G., ZUCCA R., Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Sardegna archeologica, Guide e Itinerari, Sassari 1988.
  • PAGLIETTI G., Le rotonde con bacile d’età nuragica, in Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, LIX 2009, pp. 335-354.
  • SALIS G., Le rotonde con bacile. Un nuovo contributo dal villaggio di Sa Sedda’e Sos Carros-Oliena, FOLD&R - Fasti OnLine Documents & Research, Vol. 2012 (278), p. 1-10. 
  • SANTONI V., Il nuraghe Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Guide e Studi, Quartu Sant’Elena 2001, pp. 69-81.