Progetto S'Urachi: Incontri culturali e vita quotidiana intorno a un nuraghe di età storica S'Urachi Project: Cultural Encounters and Everyday Life around a Nuraghe in Classical and Hellenistic Times Il progetto S’Urachi è congiuntamente intrapreso dal Comune di San Vero Milis ed il Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World della Brown University, in stretta collaborazione con la Soprintendenza Archeologica per le Province di Cagliari e Oristano (Alessandro Usai) ed il dipartimento di Preistoria e Archeologia dell’Università di Valencia (Carlos Gómez Bellard). I co-direttori Alfonso Stiglitz e Peter van Dommelen si appoggiano a un’équipe interdisciplinare ed internazionale. The S'Urachi project is a joint undertaking of the San Vero Milis council and Brown University (Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World). It is carried out in close collaboration with the University of Valencia (Dept of Prehistory and Archaeology, Carlos Gómez Bellard) and in close coordination with the Archaeological Service of Cagliari and Oristano provinces (Alessandro Usai). The project co-directors Alfonso Stiglitz and Peter van Dommelen are supported by an international and interdisciplinary team.

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

A not so sunny day in Sardinia

At nuraghe S’Urachi on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia (, the 2014 Day of Archaeology takes place both online and on-site, as today is also our open day.

Against all expectations and the odds, the 2014 Day of Archaeology looks and feels more like fall than summer: at 7 am, we arrived on site under a gentle drizzle that soon turned into a near-constant fine rain – unheard of in the Mediterranean at this time of the year!

Day-by-day impressions and views are posted on

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sieving dirt and geophysics on the nuraghe (by our colleagues of Eastern Atlas)

A Hard Day’s Labwork

As the 2013 season is drawing to a close, the S’Urachi team spent a relaxing morning at the beach and followed it up with a full afternoon of lab work and public presentation. Along with displaying our finds to local visitors and archaeologists, we also continued documenting our materials and organizing our data. Take a look below at some images from our lab work this afternoon!

Labeling ceramics in the S'Urachi lab in San Vero Milis.

Labeling ceramics in the S’Urachi lab in San Vero Milis


Above, Ayla Çevik is labeling some of the many diagnostic sherds recovered from Trench D.

A Punic house located in Trench D next to the Nuraghe S'Urachi

A Punic house located in Trench D next to the Nuraghe S’Urachi


Aside from ceramics, we also recovered many faunal bones this season. Below Damia Ramis and Nuri van Dommelen organize our faunal remains and discuss the different species we have uncovered, including fox, cow, dog, chicken, sheep, goat, tortoise, pig, horse and ass.

Here the S'Urachi team discusses our faunal finds of 2013

Here the S’Urachi team discusses our faunal finds of 2013


Organizing bones in the S'Urachi Lab

Organizing bones in the S’Urachi Lab


For more photos, info and updates, check out our facebook page at

S’Urachi Project in Sardinia (Italy)

This month (July 2013) has seen the start of a new fieldwork project in Sardinia at nuraghe S’Urachi on the central west coast of Sardinia. Undertaken jointly by the town of San Vero Milis and Brown University/the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, excavations have begun to explore Classical-period settlement around the prehistoric monument. The first campaign has brought to light Punic houses on one side and a series of activity areas and dumps on the other.

As the first campaign is drawing to a close, today, July 26, is the project Open Day and we hope to present our preliminary results to the many people who have followed both in the village and online – see