What’s a ziggurat doing in Sardinia? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? It’s been looked into by specialists. Nobody seems to have found out where the idea come from. But did it need to come from anywhere outside Sardinia? I’m thinking that what you see is just an easy and impressive structure to design, if not build. You build a walled section, then a ramp so that you can begin to fill it. You leave the ramp so you can walk to the top. That’s not difficult. Well, not if you’re in charge of carrying the big rocks it isn’t. The idea comes to you because it is obvious, not because someone rowed a boat across the Atlantic to tell you you’ll get fame and fortune if you build it thus.
Here it is, Monte d’Accoddi with its carved egg-like stone
Pretty impressive for a work done in the Neolithic Age. That’s old. 6000 or so years old. We associate the site with religion and observation of the heavens because the sides of it correspond to the cardinal points of the compass and there are altars on the site (the top of the monument is sometimes considered an altar, so maybe we’ll call these the Sub Altars). An impressive Sub Altar sits in a low spot near where you enter the site. It has large cupules on its top and side surfaces, which you can see in the picture above if you follow the two round stones in front until your eye comes upon the flat rock pocked with what appear to be holes.
In this picture you can see the standing stone archaeologists identify as a menhir. Again you can let your imagination fly because little is known about these things. Go ahead and embrace it; give it a rub. It could grow hair, or make you pregnant. You never know.
Here’s a bit of the excavation beyond the monument itself. The squares you see are possibly residential spaces.
How to Get to Monte d’AccoddiMonte d’Accoddi is near Porto Torres in the northwest corner of the island of Sardinia. The site is about a 40 minute drive from Alghero, and there’s a bus you can take for 4-6 euro that takes more than three times longer. Here’s a map and info page. From Porto Torres the distance is considerably shorter so a taxi becomes an option. You can even walk to the site in an hour and 20 minutes according to the map and info.
When you arrive at the parking area you’ll face the site and have the urge to walk right to it, but head for the little white shack at the edge of the parking area to pay the admission and to see if a guide is available in your language. Otherwise they’ll track you down and embarrass you. You’ll find archaeological site maps and a few printed guides inside as well.
Our recommendation of a very fine place to eat in the area is the fabulous Tenuto Li Lion serving the traditional Sardinian cuisine.
Have fun exploring Monte d’Accoddi. There’s a fair chance you’ve never seen anything like it.