This book concerns archaeological problems related to the rise of monumental sanctuaries in Nuragic Sardinia (Italy) towards the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age (ca. 1280-720 BC). The study addresses the Sardinian context as a case study for research on ritual in prehistoric societies. The book will take on the task of formalizing a chronology for the rise and development of Nuragic sanctuaries, and of analysing such process under the scope of social archaeology. The work draws on substantial new evidence from the unpublished excavations at Monte S. Antonio (Siligo, Sassari). In this book I argue that the rise of sanctuaries and the institution of public rituals embody the core a complex strategy, put in action by Nuragic elites in order to seize legitimacy for reorganising inter-polity relations. Sanctuaries are but the most apparent trait of a comprehensive transformation process involving several aspects, from settlement organization through burial rite and overseas interactions. The newly proposed chronology will provide the framework to address such transformations as a unitary process.
Published: Sep 30, 2025