The Nuraghi of Sardinia

Neil Ritchie describes a pastoral race who flourished on Sardinia between 1500 and 500 B.C.. The Nuraghi have left us more than seven thousand finely built towers and a host of magnificent bronze figurines.

Sea and Sardinia’, once wrote the critic H.M. Tomlinson, ‘is travel narrative by a novelist, who may say almost anything...’ Perhaps; but the surprising fact remains that D.H. Lawrence, who subsequently travelled in Etruria and became fascinated by the world of the Etruscans, does not vouchsafe his reader one single word on the nuraghic civilisation of Sardinia, which has many points in common with the Etruscan. Early Sardinian culture simply passed him by or, more probably, no one ever mentioned it to him.

Today’s traveller arriving at Cagliari, as D.H. Lawrence did in January 1921, cannot fail to be reminded of Sardinia’s distant past. The giant department store on the Via Roma, where Lawrence patronised the cafes, offers rows of poor copies of nuraghic figurines; and the tourist posters proclaim the beauties of Borumini, the best known of the nuraghi.

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