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  • Molia
  • Illorai
  •  
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • Provincia di Sassari
  • Illorai

Credits

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Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 4000 BC - 2001 BC

Season

    • The work was divided into three sectors: 1.Organisation of the area with a view to its enhancement; 2. Laying out of the grid and setting up of the excavations; 3. Excavation of _domus_ _de_ _janas_ IV. 1. The sediments that had accumulated over the last 30 years were removed from the three chambers of tomb I, which can now be visited. A covering system for the hypogea is in the study phase, in view of opening to the public. Petrographical analyses are being carried out at Caglieri University, the results will establish regulations for the monitoring and consolidation of the rocky substrata. 2. Once point 0 was established, the area was divided into 5 x 5 m squares running north-south. The gird used in previous campaigns, arranged in parallel with the front of the hill section caused by the excavations undertaken using a mechanical digger for construction work, was inserted into the new system. It was chosen to excavate tomb IV, as it was protected by the flyover, and in appearance did not present any logistical problems. The earlier 1 m grid in the area was reconstructed. The flotation of the excavation sediments, in some cases removed intact was carried out at Cagliary University’s Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity. 3.Tomb IV was still covered by the nylon sheeting that had been put down at the end of excavations and showed no signs of having been disturbed. The hypogeum was formed by the _dromos_, semicircular antechamber, and two quadrangular chambers (cella 1 and cella 2). Chambers 1 and 2 were completely excavated; there was residual stratigraphy in the antechamber, which seemed to continue in the _dromos_: excavation of the _dromos_ began. Cella 2 did not produce any archaeological material; cella 1 contained a funerary context of the Bonnanaro culture, situated in the north-western corner on the floor; in the antechamber there were several contexts of the Ozieri culture. Radiometric dating is being carried out. The pottery and lithic materials were abundant in the antechamber, in association with palaeo-botanical and palaeo-faunal remains. Digging tools (picks, wide bladed implements, scrapers etc), intact or fragmentary, used and unused, were prevalent among the lithic artefacts. In synthesis: 42 contexts were identified Archaeological finds inventoried: 723 Sediment and/or charcoal and carbonized seed samples: 44. The graphic and photographic documentation was digitized.
    • The work was divided into two sectors: 1.Organisation of the area with a view to its enhancement; 2. Excavation of _domus_ _de_ _janas_ IV. 1. The spoil heap formed during excavations in the 1970s, from the moment of the discovery of the necropolis until the interruption of the research in 1984, was partially removed. This spoil heap contributed to hindering rainwater drainage, causing the pooling of water on the excavated surfaces. Massive accumulations of material excavated by mechanical means and placed on top of the other hypogea to protect them during the construction of the fly-over and the Borore-Olbia road, unfortunately remain in place. These spoil heaps and accumulations have altered the landscape surrounding the necropolis, which should be restored. With the removal of the spoil heaps the situation was certainly improved. However, this work needs to continue, eliminating the accumulations and completing the reconstruction of the environment, involving the owners of the land and necropolis, that is the Province of Sassari and the town of Illorai. 2. Excavations mainly involved the _dromos_, begun in 2014. The state of preservation of the surface, damaged by the pooling of rainwater, caused problems in identifying the last layers excavated in 2014. The removal of the disturbed layers (US 43) revealed the traces left by the bulldozers teeth used in the 1970s by the construction company, which had badly damaged the tomb and, partially the sediments. A structured hearth was found by the east wall of the _dromos_ (US 46 and 47). In synthesis: 19 US were identified, numbered 43-61. The archaeological materials (pottery, lithic and animal bones) numbered 806 (ns. 724-1530). Ceramic finds were predominant over the lithics and faunal remains. The soil from identified and undisturbed contexts is undergoing floatation.
    • The finds from previous campaigns were catalogued and excavation continued in _domus_ _de_ _janus_ IV. The excavation followed the usual methodology, with floatation and sampling for charcoal (radiometric and anthracological analyses) and of the sediments incorporated in the materials (chemical analysis of the archaeological contexts). Excavation mainly took place at the beginning of the _dromos_ (by the entrance to the antechamber), with the removal of the US 47-50 (identified in 2015), corresponding with the structured hearth (US 48) and the surrounding external area. An abundance of ash, stratified charcoal, with large pieces, mixed with animal bone and pottery fragments were observed, particularly inside the hearth. In the surrounding area, the number of finds diminished. The stratigraphy relating to the hearth, surrounding area and stones bordering the hearth (US 48) were removed and the part of the antechamber left as a baulk in 2014 (US 25), formed by an accumulation of pottery and stones that continued into the _dromos_ was excavated. Continuing the excavation, within US 71, there was a pit below the threshold into the antechamber containing the US 77-78 and 81. Layers US 78 and 81 constituted a sealed context probably of cult or sacred function, for example a ritual linked to phase when the tomb or _dromos_ was constructed. US 77 contained charcoal, seeds, a few pottery fragments and animal bones, probably the residue from ceremonial rituals. The context overlay US 79, a thin layer covering the floor. In synthesis: 19 layers were identified (US 63-81). Number of inventoried finds: 449 (ns. 1531-1980). The graphic and photographic documentation was digitized.

Bibliography

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