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#stories from the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. Episode 65

Welcome back to a new appointment with our virtual tour of the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari that allows us to tell you about our exhibition step by step, letting you know and see our finds up close.

Today we show you the showcase in which the finds found in the territory of Portoscuso in the Sulcis are exhibited.

These are findings found in the Neolithic site of Su Stangioni ‘e Su Sali and in the Phoenician necropolis of San Giorgio.

The site of Su Stangioni was the subject of intense frequentation in the Ancient Neolithic (about 6000-4800 BC), but the archaeological evidence has unfortunately been significantly damaged by works connected to the nearby industrial center of Portovesme, as well as by the removal of massive quantities of sand.

What has remained, however, allows us to believe that in Su Stangioni there was a large open-air station, devoid of stable structures, which was likely to constitute a seasonal alternative to the numerous rocky ravines of which the region is rich.

The ceramic finds found in surface searches and in some excavation investigations show the typical decoration obtained by impressing on the clay before firing, the edge of a shell, generally cardium edule, hence the name “cardiale”, given to the oldest ceramic production in Sardinia and throughout the western Mediterranean basin.

A partially reconstructed pot shows a hitherto unknown decoration, here the decorative wave pattern was obtained by swiping the edge of a shell or a jagged tool.

In addition to the ceramics, a series of small obsidian and jasper tools were found. They were used as arrow armor or as elements of composite instruments of the Mesolithic tradition, such as harpoons.

Almost all the materials found in Su Stangioni can be placed in the most remote phase of the Ancient Neolithic, the one called Su Carroppu (6th millennium BC).

A fragment with a handle and bead in relief and some microliths indicate a presence, albeit sporadic, in the Filiestru-Green Grotto phase of the fifth millennium BC. always within the Ancient Neolithic.

The site appears to have been frequented even in a more recent phase of the Neolithic, during the culture of San Ciriaco and up to the ancient Bronze Age, to which one of the few masonry huts known for the Corona Moltana facies dates back. It is a rectangular apsidal hut with a base of small stones perhaps tied with mud mortar.

In the territory of Portoscuso in the 90s a very important site was accidentally found, which offers us a very important testimony on the first Phoenician presence in Sardinia.

The small necropolis of San Giorgio is made up of tombs for incineration in boxes of stone slabs, in which the ashes of the deceased were placed inside reused commercial amphorae accompanied by modest funeral items. Usually the grave goods consisted of a jug with a mushroom-shaped rim and a lobed jug to which a plate, other jugs or silver jewels and sometimes even iron weapons could be added.

The peculiarity of this necropolis is given by its dating prior to the mid-eighth century BC, that is, before the settlement of Sulci, considered the oldest Phoenician foundation. San Giorgio could therefore be a small burial ground for «a nucleus of Phoenicians that we could consider the pioneers of sedentarization».

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