THE NURAGIC WATER DEDICATED CULT
With the gradual ends of the construction of new nuraghi, around the XII century, in Sardinia, is facing a social, cultural change and the growth of a new, powerful spirituality, the so-called “Water Cult”. Water as a precious asset, a source of life and inspiration for the new refined beauty architecture that the nuragics began to build.
The villages that emerge in this second phase of the nuragic age have real sanctuaries as places of worship, meeting and feast, replacing the construction of the ancient nuraghes. The sources were captured in complex hydraulic systems, wells, springs with hidden channels inside the structures or floors (as we use to do in our time with the pipes). The various environments related to the use of the shrines were very special: we never find living huts, but huts whose function was somehow attributable to worship or shop. There seems to be a curious connection between these sanctuaries and some recent Sardinian cultural structures: Christian sanctuaries with “cumbessias”, which are still places of worship, as well as festivities, have structural and functional aspects in some ways resembling those of the ancient Nuraghi sanctuaries.
The nucleus of Nuragic shrines is made up of a well or a sacred fountain of extraordinary beauty, through which cure for aesthetics reaches its climax: sacred wells featured a vestibule, a tholos dome and a monumental staircase (example par excellence of this type is the sacred well of Santa Cristina -OR-), while the typology of the sacred source lacks the monumental stair, but it is also, especially in Barbagia, masterfully worked, as evidenced by, for example, the sacred source of Su Tempiesu in Orune , Noddule in Nuoro, Gremanu in Fonni and others of lesser fame.
As if it were not enough, they strike the most advanced engineering levels through pressure games, ducts, waterproofing by lead castings still in place and ingenious welds that denotes a commitment to the care of the renewed spiritual sphere; all immersed in the grandeur of nature, always protagonist in these magical places.
But were the nuraghes forgotten? Absolutely not. Even though they were no longer built, they were mystified by the Nuragics themselves and become idols in the form of small sculptures, made in bronze or stone, which are fundamental to archeologists as they reproduce the towers in their original features and thanks to this we can now understand how was a nuraghe, simple or complex, at the height of its grandiosity.
These nuraghe patterns seem to represent something sacred, a memory of the past and of their ancestors, sometimes placed in the center of big huts, commonly referred to as “meeting” huts, since they are considered to be the venues for major decisions.
Always at this time belongs nuragic bronzes, that are singular miniaturistic sculptures in finely worked bronze, which come mainly from deposits located at the shrines and that come in many forms; in “aulic” style, representing mainly types of warriors, always reproduced at the same time even in the stones statuary all-rounded and very famous Giants of Mont’e Prama (whose function is still debated and the archaeological site of recapture of statues is still being excavated), both of a more popular style, representing mainly scenes of daily life, thanks to which it was possible to reconstruct part of the social life of those times which is still very difficult to decipher today.