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Su Nuraxi - a nuragic archaeological site in Barumini, Sardinia, Italy. Source: robnaw/Adobe Stock

Lost Civilizations: Delving into the Forgotten Past of Sardinia (Video)


Ancient Sardinia’s history reveals a saga of resilience and adaptation spanning millennia. Situated strategically in the central Mediterranean, its dry, mountainous landscapes and labyrinthine valleys have hosted human habitation since prehistoric times. Paleolithic boats likely ferried the earliest settlers to its shores, establishing Sardinia as a bustling hub for maritime trade and cultural exchange.

Despite the absence of written records, archaeological excavations have revealed many cultures that once thrived on the island. The ruins, some over 6,000 years old, bear witness to the ingenuity and creativity of its ancient inhabitants. From Neolithic farming communities to the sophisticated Bronze Age Nuragic civilization, each era left its indelible mark on the island's landscape.

Central to Sardinia's ancient heritage are the enigmatic nuraghi, towering stone structures that dot the countryside. These marvels of ancient engineering, dating back to around 1900 BC, served multifaceted roles as defensive fortresses, religious sanctuaries, and communal centers. Their sheer number—estimated to be over 7,000—attests to their significance in Nuragic society.

Genetic analyses of modern Sardinians offer further glimpses into the island's past. Studies reveal genetic connections to Neolithic farmers and early European migrants, highlighting the island's role as a crossroads of ancient migrations.

Despite successive waves of conquest by civilizations like the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans, Sardinia retained its unique identity. Its ancient legacy lives on in the remnants of its past—be it the stone guardians of the Nuragic era or the linguistic echoes of Paleo-Sardinian—a testament to the enduring spirit of a land shaped by the ebb and flow of history.

Top image: Su Nuraxi - a nuragic archaeological site in Barumini, Sardinia, Italy. Source: robnaw/Adobe Stock                                  

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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