Friday, April 10, 2009

Tomb of Giants

(No - this isn't a political essay on Afghanistan / Iraq) We've just returned from a driving trip in Sardinia, where we came across assorted ruins and remains of prior peoples. Much of what we saw was unexplained on site (especially so as our Italian language skills are poor); some sites had only a sign labeling a name, others nothing at all. The nuraghi are towers erected anywhere from 3500 BC to perhaps 1500 BC, largely by a Bronze Age culture. There were perhaps 30,000 of these huge towers; some 8000 remain. There are also "Tomb of Giants" - we visited one named S'Ena e Thomes near Dorgali. It is reportedly positioned significantly relative to the Spring star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri / Rohini nakshatra). There is an extended dolmen behind. What was this thing, how was it used? Nobody seems to know. There is conjecture that the place was a gravesite for multiple individuals. Why the small opening at bottom - for animals to enter and feed? There is a sense of sacred. The site is now just a part of the wild Sardinian countryside, surrounded by scrub trees and windswept nature.