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Anghelu Ruju Prehistoric Tombs Near a Winery

Visit a Fascinating Neolithic Necropolis near Alghero

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Anghelu Ruju is a funerary prehistoric archeological area with tombs and features carved into the soft limestone. The tombs date to the Neolithic Age, about 3000 BC. These burials are called Domus de janas, or “fairy houses” for their diminutive size, however they weren’t designed as houses at all, although there are some signs of reuse as habitation after some had been looted in ancient times.

The necropolis was discovered accidentally in 1903 during test excavations preceding the construction of a building on the property owned by Sella&Mosca, a large, popular winery in Sardinia. The following year excavations continued in earnest and eventually unearthed 38 tombs and many grave goods.

As is found in other Sardinian burial sites, archaeologists noted the numerous carvings of long-horned bulls’ heads in and around at least three of the tombs–supporting, some say, the “Mother Goddess” theory.

Visit a Museum Near the Site of Anghelu Ruju

You’ll need to book a visit in advance for the museum, which is divided into two parts, according to the winery:

The Sella&Mosca estate is also home to an interesting museum, divided into two sections. The first is dedicated to the company’s history and offers an intriguing historical look at the winery’s pioneering activities at the turn of the twentieth century, illustrated in photographs and with vintage winemaking equipment. The second provides an archaeological insight into the Anghelu Ruju prehistoric necropolis, and its people and culture, discovered in 1903 on the Sella&Mosca estate.

Getting to the Site from Alghero

Anghelu Ruju is just north of the city of Alghero. It is an 8 minute drive, or you can arrange a taxi for about $20. See the route.

Nearby you can also visit Nuraghe Palmavera. When you’re done exploring the region, we recommend a drive down the coast to the town of Bosa.

anghelu ruju tomb
A tomb at the archaeological site of Anghelu Ruju near Alghero, Sardinia.

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Categories: See & Do: Archaeology |

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