Welcome back to the appointment with the virtual journey through the exhibition rooms of the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari as part of the campaign of the MIBACT #iorestoacasa.
This week you will be able to observe closely the objects inside thef 12th showcase dating back to the Nuragic civilization and generically datable to the Iron Age between 930 and 730 BC.
Half of the showcase is dedicated to the bronzes found in the locality of Monte Arcosu, in the territory of Uta a few kilometers from Cagliari, among which the magnificent chieftain stands out for its size, which we will talk about in the next appointment. This huge bronze was found together with other bronze objects: a slinger, two wrestlers depicted during the fight, an archer, a warrior with a shield and sword, two prayers and a votive sword with a speared deer.
In the other half of the showcase there are small bronze vessels or ships, ex-votos depicting small boats with the bow in the form of animals with horns (deer, ox or ram) and often animals such as doves or dogs on the gunwale. Particular are the small bronze ship models that come from Baunei, with a strange humanoid figure in the plate, and those small bronze ships from Bultei, with deer heads, dogs and birds on their gunwale.
A ring, usually placed on top of the mainmast, is a constant element in the sardinian ship models, functional to keep them suspended; in fact it is believed that they were used as oil lamps to illuminate the inner part of the sanctuaries.
Most of the model ships were found near nuragic places of worship, for example in the well temples, where they were offered as ex-votos like the bronzes and votive swords.
These bronze objects make clear the nuragic propensity towards the sea and the navigation that for a long time has been not only poorly known, but also denied.
Despite the absence of finds of wrecks from this era, archaeologists have for decades agreed that the nuragic people had advanced navigation knowledge that allowed them to move from Sardinia and get in touch with other civilizations overlooking the Mediterranean sea.