To say that Nicola Castangia “documents archaeological tombs” is like saying “Rembrandt paints”. Nicola is the founder of Archeofoto. His work on Sardinia’s ancient monuments isn’t made up of drab documentary snapshots; Nicola uses light to paint in the missing elements, to animate the work in a way that makes you believe that you might be witness to an image that illuminates the spirit of ancient peoples in a way that a tourist snap can’t.
I caught up with Nicola at an exhibition at the Aeroporto di Alghero recently, in an exhibition called La Filigrana d’Oro e il mito delle Janus or “Gold filigree and the myth of Janus” where he explained his work. Here he is at the exhibit with photos of the Giants of Monte Prama in the background:
If you are considering a trip to Sardinia and are interested in the island’s past, you’d be missing out if you didn’t see some of Nicola’s best work. Here’s the Flickriver stream of popular photos
Nicola also founded archeofoto; the Facebook page is here.
The Tomb of the Nicropolis of Santu Pedru. Nicola Castangia Gets Me In
After the exhibition, Nicola accompanied our little crew of journalists to the Necropolis of Santu Pedru, just northeast of Alghero. The tombs lie along the Alghero-Uri-Ittiri highway, and are entered through a long corridor called a dromos.
Entrance into tomb I, the tomb of the tetrapod vases, is through a square opening shown to the right behind a dapper Nicola Castangia, who was from this position able to wrap his left leg into the opening behind him, which looks like a bit of carnival flexibility display to an old coot like me.
So I sat on the ledge wondering how to get in (perhaps I had not paid as much attention as I should have to the proper procedure) and tried to do things with my legs they were no longer able to do. Mr. Castangia, bless him, had me lie back, whereupon he pulled me into the tomb like a sack of wheat and laid me gently onto the floor. Into the tomb I had been born.
The work inside will wow you. Ancient stonework is amazing, even in a city of the dead.
Visitor Information to the Necropolis of Santu Pedru
Not all of the tombs in this complex are open to the public. Only Tomb I, the tomb we visited, has been studied and documented. As soon as the excavations and program of conservation are completed, the entire site will be open to the public.
Here’s what the printed guide reveals about the location:
The archaeological complex is situated along the Alghero-Uri-Ittiri highway, on the left immediately after the intersection with the road to Olmedeo (24.5 km from the 127 bis highway), if one is driving from Alghero.
The site is easily identifiable, since it is set upon the western face and summit of a rocky hill and the dromos of Tomb I is adjacent to the road.
Not far away are the tombs of Anghelu Ruju