At last, it seems that the weather is changing. Today is a beautiful day, I start traveling on the road mainly in the plains. The fields are full of water, I pass many greenhouses and some hills, on which I seem to glimpse the remains of walls, archeology or recent stuff? I’ll find out later.
I get to the Town Hall and the Mayor Alessandro welcomes me and immediately puts me in the hands of Attilio, the typical citizen who ‘knows everything’ of history and especially the ‘stories’ of the village! The first thing that Attilio makes me notice as soon as we start the tour are the ladiri bricks. Not the usual look, as I have already done countless times, but a thorough look. He shows me every single component, which tells the story of these places: fragments of obsidian (not of this area, therefore certainly a product of exchange between ancient populations), pieces of melting metals (remains of activities of production of ancient populations), fragments of ceramics (more or less recent), shells (sign of the ancient presence of the sea).
Attilio makes me enter several private courtyards to show me findings of stones with the signs of the past, old tools of crafts, remains of millstones, as well as large stones, which may seem like mini menhirs. In the walk, we see several murals, some traditional, others more contemporary, like the one that depicts the swords found right here in the so-called ‘tomb of the warriors’, where now stands a sports center. The excavation for the center reveals a soil that with the rains still brings out remains of ceramics. The swords are now in the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari (as many finds of archaeological sites that I have already visited).
Back to the Town Hall, we meet Alessandro and Francesca, geologist and councilor. All together we go to the primary schools, where we have lunch lunch (first meal of the trip in a school canteen!) After lunch I tell the project to the kids. At the end of the meeting the children are asked to produce drawings about my adventure (which Alessandro would send me a few days later … they’re all beautiful!!)
In the afternoon we visit an isolated menhir in a field, still standing, and then, together with Attilio, we head to the site of Fanaris, which I discover being on that hill that I observed this morning on the road … so my instinct was right … those stones were archaeological remains (I am increasingly getting a good intuition about geographic forms, the stones, the history … next in my life, an archeology degree?) After crossing muddy fields, and climbing between rocks and prickly pears, we reach the top of the hill. Attilio guides us through the stones, dangerous route, I feel like Indiana Jones. We arrive at some openings, the top of the nuraghe, set in the rock, really impressive. From here the view of the Cixerri plain, the Campidano plain and Cagliari is breathtaking. To the east the mountains of Sarrabus, where I will soon be heading.
Back to the car, we conclude the tour by visiting the country church of San Basilio, with a park all around and the remains of an old water mill, Su Mobiu, and then the church of San Giorgio, inside the village. For dinner I’m invited to the home of the Mayor Alessandro, where I spend a pleasant evening with his wife Carla and his daughters Francesca, guitarist apprentice who I play with, accompanying her to the ukulele, and Marianna, who collapses from sleep shortly after dinner (and is carried up the stairs, still asleep!) Shortly after I collapse too, exhausted, at the bnb of Mariella and Giulio.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Attilio is a fantastic guide. During the morning he takes me to Via Su Nurasci (street of the nuraghe), so called because under the current houses are found the remains of at least one nuraghe, but Attilio swears that there were more. And he mentions the theory of the ‘tsunami’ that would have submerged most of the nuraghi. He believes it, and throughout the day he makes me notice details, signs, stones, that could confirm this hypothesis. ‘See these shells … a geologist says that they are very old, how did they get here?’ I have to tell him I am a geologist, just to avoid him talking about ‘fanta-geology’. From that moment every statement of his is preceded by ‘this is just my opinion!’ Then at the Fanaris site he shows us the color of the stones, dark to the north, very clear to the south, like ‘washed’ he says.
Attilio tells me when the author of this tsunami theory, Sergio Frau, visited these places in search of evidence, and stood there to observe the morphology of the land, rocks, archaeological remains. Frau is often accused of being a ‘fanta-archaeologist’. His first book, Le Colonne d’Ercole, theorised the great wave that destroyed Atlantis, located in Sardinia. In the second book, Omphalos, he places Sardinia at the center of the world. I remember the Omphalos exhibition visited in my day in Sorgono (also geodetic center of Sardinia). I have not read Frau’s books, so I could neither support nor deny these theories. Maybe using my geological knowledge I could make a clearer idea though. But I think it is interesting that someone has dedicated himself to this study with so much ardor, finding many supporters and followers. Meanwhile, the only thing I’m sure of today is that the nuraghe of Via Su Nurasci have been buried … but from tons of concrete!