Today we will discover the Domus de Janas between Sassari and Porto Torres, in particular of the site of Su Crucifissu Mannu.
Several necropolises have been found throughout the area surrounding Sassari; so we know that this region has been populated and frequented since antiquity. In addition to arousing historical interest, the discovery of these places can turn into a pleasant outdoor walk.
Su Crucifissu Mannu
The necropolis of Su Crucifissu Mannu is a couple of km from the archaeological site of Monte D’Accoddi, for this reason you can visited both places in a single itinerary.
To reach the necropolis, we take the 131 state road from Sassari towards Porto Torres.
We take a dirt road on the right and then, on the left, we find the access to the necropolis. We are immediately surprised by the luxuriant environment…
Then we cross paths through flowering meadows and shrubs and that lead us to the tombs carved in the rock. These are small rooms, carved out of the particularly malleable rock, with a small access corridor.
These Domus de Janas were built during the Ozieri culture period (between 3200 and 2800 BC); they only came to light more recently due to the collapse of the stone ceilings. So now we can see an open-air museum!
We go down inside some domus, being careful, to observe the smaller and darker rooms…
In some tombs it is possible to notice decorations carved in the rock walls; we can recognize the figure of stylized taurine horns, an ancient symbol of fertility.
Furrows in the rock and other surprises
Then, while continuing on the walk on flat paths, we reach one of the most curious points of this site: a large area of horizontal rocks, carved by long parallel furrows…
Historians have tried to explain these traces carved into the rock, assuming that they had been produced in antiquity by the passage of sleds used for the transport of building stones, or that they were primitive attempts to drain the water. However, there are no certainties regarding their origin and their purpose.
There is a second mysterious aspect of the necropolis, which however we have no way of seeing with our own eyes… We know that here archaeologists have found various traces of ancient populations, including human skulls with signs of trepanation. As surprising as it may seem, according to studies, some inhabitants of the region have undergone interventions of this kind in ancient times, surviving! It has been speculated that these interventions, rather than strictly medical, have been put in place in order to chase away the evil spirits from people suffering particular pathologies (for example epilepsy).
Other sites in the area
Other groups of ancient burials have also been found, carved out of the rocks in the area; as described in the article about Monte D’Accoddi, not far from the ziggurat there are traces of necropolis.
Even at Li Punti, near Sassari, six prenuragic tombs (site of Montalè) were discovered; unfortunately the necropolis is located inside a small fenced park, not accessible and visible only from the outside.