Menhir Sardegna, known as the Italian Stonehenge.
Sardinia holds many traces of its thousand-year story throughout the island including the menhirs, a heritage to discover and experience.
The term “menhir” is the crasis of two Breton words, men and hir, translatable into Italian as “long stone” or “pietrafitta”, and refers to monolithic megaliths (unlike dolmens, which are polylithic and portal-assembled), erected in many different prehistoric periods, where they could reach and exceed even 20 meters in height. One of the most majestic examples is the broken Grand Menhir of Locmariaquer in Brittany.
Generally square, sometimes thinned towards the top, the menhirs were built and placed practically all over Europe, especially in the western area (Brittany and the British Isles). There are also traces in Africa and Asia.
Even in Italy, there are examples of buildings of this type, especially in Sardinia, where the tangible signs of prehistory are infinite. The archaeological sites in Sardinia are many: alongside the menhir, there is also the dolmen, the Domus de Janas, the sacred wells, the tombs of the giants and the endless nuragic complexes. This archaeological evidence guards ancient secrets and the legacy of civilizations that characterized specific historical periods.
Menhirs in Sardinia: which ones there are
Sardinian menhirs are called “perdas fittas” or “Pedras fittas” (depending on the area), that is “embedded stones”. There are as many as 740 in the various areas of the island. They have different shapes: some refer to a phallic symbology, others to the breasts as a female symbol of fertility, others still have cups or the ancient rock carvings in the shape of a circular basin. Testimonial of men who lived millennia ago, here are the most famous menhirs in the region:
- Genna Prunas by Guspini
This prehistoric monument is in the municipality of Guspini, on agricultural land near the Usai house. The menhir represents the Mother Goddess and is dated to the culture of Ozieri (IV millennium BC), reaches a height of about 1.70 meters and is 60 cm wide at the base, then rounding more and more at the end. It has 30 cupels on the basaltic surface covering the four sides of the monument.
- Stele of Boeli
The Stele of Boeli, better known as Sa Perda Pinta di Marmolada, has a series of concentric spirals in almost all faces of the monolith. It is a megalithic stele, which is estimated to date back to 3500 BC and is in Marmolada in a private garden where it was found accidentally in 1997, during the construction of a house. Because of its size, it is considered one of a kind in Europe: it has a height of 2.67 meters, a maximum width of 2.10 meters and a thickness of 0.57 meters (not uniform).
- The menhirs of Laconi
Laconi is a village in the province of Oristano, with just over 1500 inhabitants and over 100 menhirs, both proto-anthropomorphic (face perspective plane) and anthropomorphic, ie with short somatic detachments. Also here, in the Museum of prehistoric statuary in Sardinia, housed in the spaces of Aymerich palace, there are dozens of menhir findings.
The other menhirs on the island
Staying in the province of Oristano, at Villa Sant’Antonio, you can admire protoanthropomorphic and anthropomorphic menhirs. Not surprisingly, the entire area was called the Menhir Valley. The megalithic complex is dated 3500-2500 BC, during the culture of Ozieri, and has one of the highest menhirs in Sardinia 5.75 meters high.
To the south, in Goni, in the archaeological complex of Pranu Mutteddu, there are menhirs lined up in long rows: it is an area very rich in Neolithic megalithic monuments. In Sorgono, in the province of Nuoro, there is the complex of Biru ‘e Concas. Also in the southern area, in Sant’Antioco, there is the complex Su Para E Sa Mongia (or the friar and the nun), characterized by the presence of menhir that brings back to phallic symbology and female fertility.
Finally, we point out the presence of four menhirs between the municipalities of Tortoli and Barisardo. Unfortunately, one of these was destroyed by some vandals in the late 1990s.
Do you want to plan your tour of megalithic Sardinia and have a holiday full of charm and elegance? Book your stay at Palazzo Doglio in Cagliari