National Geographic : 1923 Jan
THE ISLAND OF SARDINIA AND ITS PEOPLE The traveler has al ways before his eyes these relics of the earliest ages, over which the cloudy wings of time have spread their shadow. These nuraghiare un mortared megalithic constructions shaped like truncated cones. After much contro versy, archeologists have at last agreed that they probably served as fortresses, watch towers, and even habi tations for the tribal chiefs* (see page 56). Many of these pre historic structures, of which more than 3,000 are scattered through out the island, are in an excellent state of preservation. Nor should the visi tor fail to see such other ancient ruins, dating from the bronze age, as the domus de gianas (witches' houses) and sepol turas de gigantes (giants' sepulchers), which are tombs ex cavated in the natural rock or temples to an cient deities. Sardinia spreads RESTING AFTER A LONG JOURNEY On the Campidano the oxen are given broad neck bands of rawhide, with a brass bell and sometimes a tassel of colored wool to wear when they draw the heavy cart, gaily bedecked with the family's best tablecloth, to the fete. wide its history book at the page which records man's earliest existence. Treatises on Sardinian arche ology are numerous and valuable, and whoever wishes to do so may study the subject thoroughly. ANCIENT ROME HAS LEFT HER INDELIBLE IMPRESS The Roman occupation left interesting remains. Both in the Northern and the Southern Province there are relics of bridges, temples, and aqueducts. Cagliari * See "Little-Known Sardinia," by Helen Dunstan Wright, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for August, 1916. can boast an amphitheater almost entirely excavated in the natural rock, where steps, corridors, passages, and dens for wild beasts are still to be seen (see page Io). Called by the Romans Carales, this was in ancient times, as it is to-day, the principal town in the island (see page 74). Of such old Roman towns as Nora, Sulci, Olbia, and Tharros, all situated on the coast, only a few remains can now be traced, where solitude and silence reign. It is sad to wander among those relics of piers, temples, houses, and paved roads, so busy with life when Rome was the mistress of the world.