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Casa Zapata: the Nuraxi ’e Cresia Nuraghe

In 1990 during work carried out to complete a museum inside the feudal palace of the Zapata barons, a large Nuraghe complex was discovered built in local marlstone blocks, named Nuraxi ’e Cresia, due to the proximity with the parish church (fig. 1), frequented from the Nuragic Age (13th-9th centuries B.C.) up to the Roman and Medieval Age.

Fig. 1 - Layout of the archaeological ruins of the Su Nuraxi ’e Cresia nuraghe (from

It comprises a central tower, with three towers added to it, joined by straight curtain walls that created a trefoil layout for the complex (figs. 2, 3).

Fig. 2 - The remains of Nuraxi ’e Cresia recreated for museum purposes inside Palazzo Zapata (from
Fig. 3 - The Nuragic structures of Nuraxi ’e Cresia under the exhibition floors of the archaeological section (from

The towers, surrounded by an open-air courtyard with a well, were of a truncated cone shape, with circular chambers standing one above the other, with jutting out walls and a tholos (false dome) roof. The archaeological digs (1990-2005) have also produced the remains of the bulwark that defended the Nuraghe and a widespread dwelling area.



  • MURRU G. (a cura di), Barumini: Casa Zapata, il nuraghe museo, Fondazione Barumini Sistema Cultura, 2007.
  • SIRIGU R., La memoria di Barumini nel palazzo sul nuraghe, in Darwin Quaderni, 3, 2007, pp. 86-96.