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  • Pani Loriga
  • Nuraghe Diana
  •  
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • South Sardinia
  • Santadi

Credits

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Periods

  • No period data has been added yet

Chronology

  • 2200 BC - 700 AD

Season

    • Pani Loriga is situated on a low hill delimited by the course of the Riu Mannu, within sight of the modern town of Santadi. The region is characterised by various types of resources: woodland, agriculture, hunting and mining, which have favoured settlement here from very ancient times. In the 3rd millennium B.C. Pano Loriga was used as a burial site, in fact there is a domus de janas tomb here. The site was identified by Ferruccio Barreca during a survey in the mid 1960s. It was known that a nuraghe (Nuraghe Diana) existed on the site but the survey undertaken in 1965 also revealed the remains of a Punic settlement of considerable size, of a rock-cut necropolis and of a sacred area. The first investigations took place between 1968 and 1969 and were directed by Barreca, assisted by honorary Inspector Vittorio Pispisa. The work concentrated on the excavation of the structures on the “acropolis” and the so-called casemates, but subsequently concentrated on the Phoenician necropolis of cremation burials, discovered by chance during digging for the construction of a new access road to the site. During the course of 1969 numerous tombs (circa 150) were identified, of which only a small number were investigated. The tomb groups from the burials were acquired by the National Museum of Cagliari and are being studied by the ISCIMA. In July 1970 and from 1973 to 1976 the Phoenician necropolis was investigated by Giovanni Tore on behalf of the Cagliari Superintendency for Antiquities. The materials recovered from these excavations are at present housed in the Santadi Civic Archaeological Museum and have been published in part (Tore 1975, 1995, 2000). The finds from the surveys and excavations attest not only the antiquity of the Phoenician foundation, which can be dated back to the end of the 7th century B.C., but also the exchange network, probably organised from the coastal colonies, which imported from both the Greek and Etruscan worlds. In 2005 ISCIMA, in collaboration with the Superintendency and the Santadi Civic Archaeological Museum, began archaeological and topographical surveys. Subsequently, in 2007, excavations were undertaken on two sectors of the hill: one on the plateau situated on the south side of the hill (Area A), the other on the northern slope (Area B). In Area A structures pertaining to the Punic settlement came to light. Resting directly on the bed-rock these were elongated nuclei of rooms opening onto uniformly laid-out roads. The excavation of one room uncovered perfectly preserved floors covered with materials sealed in place by the collapse of a mud-brick wall which could be precisely documented thus providing a reconstruction of a cross-section of settlement life. A preliminary examination of the finds (commercial amphora, cooking pots, cups plates, stands) dated the sudden abandonment of this nucleus of rooms to the beginning of the 4th century B.C. and a partial new occupation to the Hellenistic period. In Area B, never previously investigated, the data collected identified two occupation phases in rapid chronological succession. The first, dated to the 6th century B.C., was attested by faint structural traces and scarce materials. In contrast, the second phase presented monumental characteristics, both in relation to the room modules and their construction technique. The latter attested a major constructional undertaking probably due to the strategic importance that the site already held from the initial phases of the Carthaginian presence in Sardinia. During 2008 and 2009 a large building with an irregular quadrangular plan (11/11,70 m x 9,30/9,60 m) was uncovered. Based on the corners it was orientated to the north and divided into three rectangular rooms. The lower courses of the structure were built using a composite technique in which piers and large squared blocks were dominant. It seemed to have been definitively abandoned during the course of the 5th century.
    • Excavations were carried out in two sectors of the Punic settlement: the southern quarter (Area A) and northern quarter (Area B). AREA A: Excavations continued in room II, which together with room I formed a single dwelling. The earliest occupation levels in the area were reached in room II, where they overlay the bedrock. Constituted by dark brown sandy soil (US 112, 118, 119) containing pottery (including numerous diagnostic fragments), they may represent hut bottoms. A preliminary examination of the materials placed them within the prehistoric Abealzu-Filigosa _facies_ that is also well-documented at the site of the _domus de janas_ overlooking the plateau facing Area A. The area remained abandoned for almost two thousand years and an Aeolian deposit (US 113) accumulated on top of the prehistoric layers, recognisable by the lighter colouration and finer type of sediment that was depurated and in which no materials were present. This layer constituted the surface on which – following its levelling (US 111) – the Punic settlement was constructed. The walls of rooms I and II were built on top of this deposit. The abandonment of the area led to the formation of a soil deposit across the whole of room II (US 55). Together with the underlying layers, this raised the floor level of the original entrance to the east, making it necessary to block the threshold (US 58) in order to use the floor surface that was created by the compacting of the deposit itself and of the passage between the two rooms. At the end of this final phase, the stone walls collapsed. Evidence of this event was only preserved next to wall USM 15 (US 51) as the excavations in the 1970s had removed most of the collapse and part of the layers relating to the last phases of the structure’s occupation. A layer of humus containing sparse ceramic material (US 41=49) formed across the area following the 1970s excavations. AREA B: Excavations took place in trenches/rooms 1, 4, and 5. Trench/room 1, the northern end of the structure, was about 7.6 m long and 2.5 m wide (internal area c. 17 m2). This is an anomalous room, with similar perimeter structure to those of the other rooms except for the absence of evidence confirming its use in phase 1. Room 1 did not appear to communicate with rooms 2 and 3; rather it seemed to be independent and accessed from the south-western corner on the long side. At the rear in the opposite sector, there was a sort of three-sided bench. Its northern corner was missing, perhaps robbed or because it housed an element in timber or some other perishable material. A miniature amphora and numerous beads and pendants made of glass paste, faïence, and pottery attested the probable cult nature of this room. Trench/room 4: 8 x 3.5 m covering an area of 28 m2. There was an opening in the south-eastern corner and an earlier one in the south-western corner that was blocked in a second phase. During the 2009 campaign, the so-called second phase occupation layers were removed and recorded. It is presumed that the southern part was restructured in this phase when the lateral accesses and the central passage between rooms 4 and 7 (to the south) were monumentalized by the positioning of two piers at the sides and two central “steps”. Room 5 was situated on the eastern side of room 4 and was of the same length but narrower (8 x 2.34 m, area 18.5 m2). Collapses of various sized stones were removed revealing accumulations of collapsed mud brick sealing abandonment layers containing a substantial quantity of Bartoloni type D3 and D4 amphora fragments.
    • Excavations were carried out in two sectors of the Punic settlement: the southern quarter (Area A) and northern quarter (Area B). AREA A: The excavations aimed to investigate the area onto which rooms I and II faced to the south. In fact, they were part of an _insula_ facing onto a sort of open space along a road on a north-south alignment that is clearly visible on the general plan of the old excavations. There was no evidence for the prehistoric phases in this area of the excavation. A layer of Aeolian deposit, also identified in room II (US 103=113), overlay the bedrock. This was levelled when the _insula_ was built. At some points, where the Aeolic layer had not formed due to the bedrock’s conformation, medium sized stones (US 90) had been used to create an even surface. This type of intervention was seen abutting an important wall (USM 70) forming the eastern edge of the road. The stratigraphy in this area is not very reliable as it was cut by the old excavations. However, it was possible to identify a number of stratigraphic contexts that can be related to those in rooms I and II. A possible floor surface (US 109=110, coeval with 87?) was identified south of wall USM 16. Layers US 100 and US 80 had formed on top of this, which are probably coeval with US 68 inside room II. When the area was abandoned, the open space south of wall 16 was probably used as a dump (US 65=83) contemporary with the building of the mud brick structure (US 28) inside room I. Although a preliminary hypothesis, it is supported by the concentration of pottery and bone finds recovered from inside a slight artificial hollow with irregular edges (US 79). AREA B: Research continued in trenches 5, 3, 7, 10, and 12. In trench/room 5 work continued on the removal and documentation of the finds attesting the occupation and sudden abandonment of the area, presumably within the first half of the 4th century B.C. In effect, to date no Hellenistic material has been found. The most common ceramics were Bartoloni type D3 and D4 amphora, whose chronology ranges between the late second half of the 6th and the 5th century B.C. Uphill from rooms 2 and 4, in rooms 3 and 7 numerous samples were taken for micro-morphological analyses, in order to gain an understanding of the depositional dynamics. Samples were also taken outside the structures (trenches 10 and 12). Another trench was dug outside the structures, uphill from them, in order to check the stratigraphy (trench 12). The stratigraphic analysis and the micro-morphological data made it possible to reconstruct the main sequence of occupation and natural events such as earth removal, erosion, hill-wash, and the abandonment of the area uphill from the main structure. At present, it is difficult to establish the function of the large structure with any certainty. The structure was linked to the other rooms by corridors that were partially blocked in a later period. The excavations also revealed the presence of deposits of natural accumulations and what may be an ancient ground surface, but no traces of a road.
    • The 2012 excavations took place on the northern part of the Pani Loriga hill denominated “Area B”. The interventions continued the excavation of the partially exposed trenches/rooms (3bis, 5, 7, and 11) and opened two new trenches: 13 a continuation of trench 11 towards the west, and 14 situated outside the large structure at the south-western edge of the “plateau”. In trench 3bis, the earliest beaten floor surface was exposed overlying the construction site levels characterising the entire area. The floor surface, as in rooms 4 and 1, was made of compact earth that contained an abundance of calcareous concretions and horizontally placed pottery fragments. As seen elsewhere on the site the structure was built in courses of stones, partially resting on the bedrock and partially on layers of dumped earth put down in order to raise and level the area. The creation of the beaten floor surface corresponds with the first occupation phase of the structure, which fragments of Attic pottery found in various rooms date to between c. 580-570 B.C. In the adjacent trench 7, the removal of collapsed rubble revealed the structure’s abandonment and occupation layers, attested by abundant pottery and the fragments of a large _tannur_ (cooking stand) positioned almost at the centre of the room. Among the most important finds are a glass paste scarab with a motif showing a deer hunt and several jugs, almost completely reconstructable, which find parallels in those found by Padova University in the Punic quarter below the Roman forum at Nora. Unlike the other rooms, room 5 was not fully excavated. In 2010 and 2011, a large quantity of fragments of Bartoloni type “D3” and “D4” amphora buried under the collapse of the structure were recorded. Excavation continued below the beaten floor surface. Uphill from these rooms were structures on a different alignment and of different sizes with respect to the others. In particular, those denominated trench 11 and 13, could have been a single large space (about 12 x 3.8 m) on an east-west alignment, or several rooms separated by walls that have yet to be identified as buried below accumulations of stones and layers of colluvial material, partially removed during this campaign. Lastly, as well as the large structure identified in 2011, the clearing of the vegetation on the site revealed numerous other large blocks of rhyolite stone, some in a regular arrangement near the latter, lying over a large area. Following a survey, which showed the existence of other rooms, a new trench (14) was opened in order to test the nature of the archaeological deposit. The extremely compact terrain rendered excavation difficult, however, as indicated by the survey, new walls were uncovered that will be investigated further.

FOLD&R

    • Massimo Botto, Federica Candelato, Ida Oggiano, Tatiana Pedrazzi. 2010. Le indagini 2007-2008 all’abitato fenicio-punico di Pani Loriga. FOLD&R Italy: 175.
    • Massimo Botto. 2017. The Punic settlement of Pani Loriga in the light of recent discoveries. FOLD&R Italy: 393.

Bibliography

    • E. Atzeni, 1987, La preistoria del Sulcis-Iglesiente, in Iglesias. Storia e società: 7-57.
    • F. Barreca, 1966, L’esplorazione topografica della regione sulcitana, in Monte Sirai III, Roma: 133-170.
    • F. Barreca, 1971, Sardegna, in L’espansione fenicia nel Mediterraneo, Roma: 7-27.
    • M. Botto, et alii, 2006, Caratterizzazione di anfore fenicie e puniche mediante analisi archeometriche, in Mediterranea 2: 57-106.
    • M. Botto, 2008, Forme di interazione e contatti culurali fra Cartagine e la Sardegna sud-occidentale nell’ambito del mondo funerario, in L’Africa Romana. Atti del XVII Convegno Internazionale di Studi: Le ricchezze dell’Africa (Sevilla 2006), Roma: 1625-1638.
    • P.B. Serra, 1995, Contesti tombali di età tardo romana e altomedioevale da Santadi, in V. Santoni (a cura di), Carbonia e il Sulcis. Archeologia e territorio, Oristano: 379-404.
    • G. Tore, 1975, Notiziario Archeologico: Ricerche puniche in Sardegna: I (1970-74). Scoperte e scavi, in Studi Sardi 23 (1973-74): 365-374.
    • G. Tore 1995, L’insediamento fenicio-punico di Paniloriga di Santadi (Cagliari), in V. Santoni (a cura di), Carbonia e il Sulcis. Archeologia e territorio, Oristano: 239-252.
    • G. Tore, 2000, L’insediamento fenicio-punico di Paniloriga di Santadi (Cagliari), in P. Bartoloni, L. Campanella (a cura di), La ceramica fenicia di Sardegna. Dati, problematiche, confronti, Roma: 333-344.
    • M. Botto - I. Oggiano, 2012, Le site phénico-punique de Pani-Loriga (Sardaigne). Interprétation et contextualisation des résultats d’analyses organiques de contenus, in D. FRÈRE – L. HUGOT (eds.), Les huiles parfumées en Méditerranée occidentale et en Gaule (VIIIe s. av - VIIIe s. ap. J.-C.), Co-édition des Presses Universitaires de Rennes et du Centre Jean Bérard, Renne: 151-166.
    • P. Bartoloni,1988, Le anfore fenicie e puniche di Sardegna (Studia Punica, 4), Roma 1988.
    • M. Botto, F. Candelato, I. Oggiano, T. Pedrazzi, 2010, Le indagini 2007-2008 all’abitato fenicio-punico di Pani Loriga, in Fasti On Line Documents & Research (FOLD&R)(www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2010-175.pdf)