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The Pani Loriga Settlement


The hill of Pani Loriga is in one sense a rich cultural stratification that tells the story of the ongoing settlement through the Prenuraghic period up until the Punic age: a large number of underground chambers were discovered here, twin-roomed furnace tombs and well tombs that bore a close resemblance to the better-known underground tombs of the nearby necropolis of Montessu in Villaperuccio.

The archaeological importance of the site stems largely from the Phoenician-Punic colonisation; between the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. a group of Phoenician settlers, who had already made their home along the south-western coast, established a new community here.

The choice of site was not at all an arbitrary one: the hill of Pani Loriga was isolated and ideal as a place for a military settlement.

A stronghold was built on the south-eastern slope of the hill, while the two necropolises were located on the western side of the heights. The Phoenician necropolis is situated along the south-western slope and consists of about 150 tombs designed for cremation and dates back to the second half of the 6th century B.C. The Punic necropolis, which dates back to the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., is situated on the north-western slope and consists of underground tombs carved into the tufa rock. Typically they have a corridor giving access to a burial chamber and underground rooms with a central pillar which stands in front of the chamber itself and probably possessed some ritual significance.

In many cases people were buried in existing prehistoric underground chambers called domus de janus. The Diana nuraghe is also found on the top of the hill; it is a symmetrically-designed nuraghe with a corridor and dominates the surrounding land.


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