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Monte D’Accoddi – A meeting place

The museum

Monte D’Accoddi was always a meeting place.

The prehistoric sanctuary was used as a gathering place for believers from the surrounding villages of the Nurra, and from other Sardinian areas. This was the location where rituals were performed to honor male and female gods, like Mother Goddess.


Monte d’Accoddi

The story of its discovery in 1952, takes us back to the meeting of two great personalities, Antonio Segni and Ercole Contu, who marked the political and cultural Sardinian and Italian scene, from the last century to the present.

Antonio Segni was a politician, a legal expert from Sassari, and the fourth President of the Italian Republic. Ercole Contu was one of the most important Sardinian archaeologists, who, with his studies, contributed to the writing of important pages of the island’s history.

The excavations of Monte D’Accoddi were part of a broader project implemented by the Sardinian Region during the years immediately following the Second World War. The archaeological excavations were interrupted during the conflict, but resumed soon after, creating new jobs.

It was also thanks to this project that the excavations of Su Nuraxi of Barumini and the archaeological area of Nora were financed.

The research work on the site, which was damaged during the World War, was encouraged by Antonio Segni. At the time, he was the Minister of Education, and an archaeology enthusiast. He hypothesized that the hill that hid the altar was on a pathway that bordered one of the properties of the Segni family. The future President of the Republic was convinced that under that hill there was an Etruscan burial mound.

It was Ercole Contu who discovered the Pre-Nuraghic site. During that time he was working in Bologna as a young archaeologist, and was recalled back to the island by the only Superintendence of Antiquities of the regional territory led by Gennaro Pesce and Giovanni Lilliu.

When interviewed, the archaeologist said: “I unwillingly answered the call because I was certain that I had to uncover a Nuraghe in a probable bad state of conservation, among the 270 ones around the Nurra area”.


Ercole Contu, 1954. Ph. Wikipedia


That was the beginning of a new chapter for Sardinian archaeology. The discovery added an important phase to the island’s history.

The excavations continued through the following years, and ended in 1958.

The study of the structure and of the surrounding area was resumed by Santo Tinè, a professor from the University of Genova, between 1979 and 1989. He is believed to be the discoverer of the first altar plastered with red ocher, in the proximity of the stone platform currently open to visitors. This finding helped dismiss any doubt concerning the structure’s sacred function, which was thought to hide a burial.

The last excavations in the area were performed during the first decade of the 2000s.

All the findings recovered at the site are currently displayed at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico ed Etnografico “Giovanni Antonio Sanna” of Sassari.

Although a lot of information has been already gathered, there is still a lot to discover.