Domus De Janas, A UNESCO Heritage Candidacy 0 Comments

Domus De Janas, A UNESCO Heritage Candidacy

We wrote about Sardinia Towards UNESCO, but we are still writing about it because it is being talked about more and more.

If conditions are created for the inclusion of the Nuragic Civilization monuments within the World Heritage Sites, it would be a great opportunity to be able to protect the incredible massive Sardinian archaeological resource. Regrettably today it is largely uncared for and exposed to abandonment due to lack of means, therefore enabling to enhance it touristically, making it known to the whole world for its archaeological treasures, Sardinia would be able to expand the seasonality from summer only to the whole year, becoming a destination of cultural tourist interest with significant effects on its tourism GDP.

Today there is no complete and certified catalogue of the thousands of Nuragic sites and the real extent of this heritage is not precisely known. There are therefore no means to plan a suitable manoeuvre to understand which interventions are necessary, how many financial and human resources are needed, and what the priorities are.

The UNESCO recognition of the Domus de Janas could be a driving force in developing all the economic chains of our island, disclosing this open-air museum to the whole world, representing a uniqueness on a global level.

In 1997 the “Su Nuraxi Barumini” Archaeological Area, of the Bronze Age and the most representative of the compound nuraghi, i.e. consisting of more than one tower, was already included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In January 2024 the Ministry of Culture officially proposed the Italian candidacy for the UNESCO World Heritage List for 2025, "Art and architecture in the Prehistory of Sardinia. Le Domus de Janas. The answer will be after the International Commission ‘s inspections starting in June 2024.

There are at least 2,500 Domus de Janas scattered throughout the territory of Sardinia, but some scholars estimate there are 3,500, of various types: isolated or part of necropolises, decorated or very simple.

The Domus de Janas are hypogeal funerary constructions, that is, dug underground or inside the boulders, present in a large part of the Sardinian territory. Some are internally decorated with engraved, painted or sculpted motifs. Hypothetically, following particular rites, the deceased was transferred from his home while alive to the home that he would be in for eternity after death. The body was placed in a foetal position with his everyday belonging next to him: obsidian arrowheads, stone knives and axes, but also necklaces, bracelets and rings of twisted copper wire, and many ceramics and perhaps even some food. for his afterlife journey.

Among the 26 prehistoric sites and Domus, built between the 5th and 3rd millennium BC. and dating back to between the Middle Neolithic and the Copper Age, there is the truncated pyramidal monument of Ziqqurat Monte D'Accoddi and the Hypogeic Necropolis Of Anghelu Ruju, the largest Domus system on the island. And again, Necropolis Of Su Crucifissu Mannu in Porto Torres, the Domus De Janas Of Sennori, extraordinarily incorporated within the town, the The Domus De Janas “La Rocca” In Sedini, up to the jewel of Domus De Janas Of The Necropolis Of Sant'Andrea Priu, in Bonorva with the beautiful walls decorated with rock paintings.

The name Domus de Janas, " fairies houses ", comes from an ancient legend where tiny fairies, the Janas, lived there. From myth to logos, between magic and history, whatever the case may be, it is certain that these precious archaeological sites represent the Sardinian past, evidence that goes back to 4000 BC. to 1800 BC.

“[…] The Janas, little fairies who stay in their homes during the day to weave gold fabrics in gold looms, danced in the shadow of the large patches of phillyrea...” (Grazia Deledda)


Written by Daniela Toti

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