Bronze chain pendant (Tillai)

In the site of Tillai, in the territory of Dorgali, a pendant in bronze was found (fig. 1) which is currently on display at the Archaeological Museum of Dorgali along with other similar ones from the same location.

Fig. 1 - Pendant from Tillai-Dorgali (from

The pendant consists of three chains hanging from a large bronze ring, open on one side, to which three chains made with a series of elements in the shape of the number "8" have been attached. At the base of each chain there is attached in turn a leaf-like element (lanceolate) decorated with embossed points and small studs.

A similar object was found in the Nuraghic village of Isportana-Dorgali, consisting of a single bronze chain with a pendant (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Bronze chain with lanceolate pendant from Isportana-Dorgali (from LO SCHIAVO 1980, Tav. XLVII n. 3).

This type of artefact moreover seems to find comparisons with identical specimens of chain pendants found in Nuraghe, tombs and storerooms in various locations of Sardinia, sometimes even unknown (Lanusei, Tiana, Gadoni, Serri, Ballao, etc.) and which have been mentioned from the second half of the nineteenth century as a result of old excavations or accidental or illegal discoveries (figs. 3, 4, 5).

Therefore, based on the data published to date, their chronological and cultural allocation is difficult: until recently they had been dated to the Nuraghic Age (VIII-VII century B.C.), but today we prefer to frame them in the Early Middle Ages (476-1000/1066 A.D.).

Fig. 3 - Chain pendant found in a Nuraghe of Tìana (from PINZA 1901, Table XVII, p. 171)
Fig. 4 - Chain pendant finishing with lanceolate foils - National Archaeological Museum of Sassari former Coll. Dessì (da LILLIU 1966, n. 339 p. 448).
Fig. 5 - Bronze necklace with chains ending with leaf-shaped elements from Nuraghe Sanu-Taccu of Osini, on display at the Museum of Speleo-Archaeology of Nuoro (from FADDA 2006, fig. 65, p.62).

The function of these objects is still currently controversial: most scholars interpret them as ornaments.


  • FOIS A., Gli ornamenti nuragici del Museo “G. A. Sanna” di Sassari, Collana a cura di LO SCHIAVO F. e DEMARTIS M. G., Piedimonte Matese 2000, pp. 50-51, p. 60, p. 124
  • FOIS A., Gli ornamenti, in MORAVETTI A., ALBA E., FODDAI L. (a cura di), La Sardegna Nuragica. Storia e materiali, Sassari 2014, pag. 280.
  • LILLIU G., Sculture della Sardegna Nuragica, Verona 1966, pp. 448-449, n. 339
  • FADDA M. A., Il museo speleo-archeologico di Nuoro, Sardegna Archeologica. Guide e itinerari, 17, Sassari 2006, fig. 65, p. 62.
  • FADDA M. A. (a cura di), Il futuro del passato di Osini. Archeologia, ambiente e storia, Nuoro 2004, pp. 42-43
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  • PULACCHINI D., Il museo archeologico di Dorgali, Sardegna Archeologica. Guide e itinerari, 27, Sassari 1998, p. 32.
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