Rain or Shine, We Dig Archaeology at S’Urachi


Today we awoke to an unusually cold morning in Sardinia, but arrived at the site with trowels in hand and ponchos ready for the intermittent drizzle of the morning. We are about three weeks in to our second season excavating at the Bronze Age nuraghe of S’Urachi, where we are exploring the architecture of the nuraghe and the use of the surrounding landscape in later periods.


A Recently Excavated Wall in Trench D

In the morning we continued work in Trench D, where we are defining the outer wall of one of the towers and digging a test trench to explore later walls that abut the tower. In Trench E, we are excavating the remains of a tabouna, or oven, outside the nuraghe walls and discovering astonishing quantities of animal bones and ceramics. We even found a cow mandible while excavating around the oven.


Emily Modrall Holding a Large Bovine Mandible

The geophysics team spent the morning doing a magnetometry survey on top of the nuraghe, having completed GPR and magnetometry in some of the he surrounding fields in the past few days. We are hoping the processed data will help us understand the structure of the building, and perhaps understand use of the landscape around the nuraghe in antiquity.


Peter Van Dommelen Discussing the Site With Our Geophysics Team 

Despite the rain, we had a great turnout for our open day at the site, and visitors came from around the island to visit the trenches. In the afternoon, the rain subsided but the visitors did not! The interest only increased, and we had quite a few visitors both at the site and our lab. At the lab, we showed visitors our collection of animal bones from Trench E but it was still business as usual: washing ceramics, processing soil samples and working on our documentation of the site.


Andrea Roppa Giving a Tour of Trench D to Visitors