LOCATION: Middle-west Sardinia: Abbasanta.
PERIOD: Nuragic Age – Middle Bronze Age ( Fifteen and Fourteen centuries B.C.).
The nuraghe “Losa” is one of the stone giants that led archaeologists and scholars to think that nuraghi were used to protect nuragic people from enemy attacks.
Its structure is surely impressive, since its highest tower is still 13 metres high. Originally the nuragic complex was even more imposing, and that is one of the reasons why the military hypothesis has convinced the most important scholars for years. But is it really possible? Could the nuraghi have been defensive bulwarks?
Obviously military techniques have changed during the centuries, but some things stay the same. So it is not clear, why, during an enemy attack, nuragic people chose to find shelter inside the nuraghi. The nuraghe “Losa”, although gigantic, does not seem like the ideal place to be used as a refuge by dozens and dozens of people. Even because any invading people could easily win simply waiting.
Why is the structure of Nuraghe “Losa” similar to a fortress? Why did people build a giant construction with huge basalt blocks? And why was it built in different stages, if not to strengthen its defences?
The nuraghe was initially made of just one main tower. Only later three more towers were built, linked by an external wall that surrounds the whole construction.
Nuraghe “Losa” is also one of the few ones without an inner courtyard and this represents another element to doubt about the possibility that the building had a defensive purpose. Even because the courtyard usually had a water well. How can you take refuge in a fortress without water supply?
Let's try to analyse other hypothesis, like the one that sees nuraghi as connected to religious symbolisms. As in the major part of nuraghi and even in the “Losa”, the main entrance is located on the South-East side. Inside, through a straight corridor, you enter the central tower, whose upper floor can still be visited through a staircase cut into the wall. The same corridor leads to the two side towers.
The rear tower can be reached from a secondary entrance, in this case north-east located.
Was then Nuraghe “Losa” a huge religious monument? Were nuraghi worship places dedicated to the Mother Goddess? Some scholars maintain that their structure resembles that of a maternal womb. The entrance would be located on the South-East side in order to be more connected to the sunlight, considered the male fertilizing strength. This interpretation would explain the orientation of a large part of nuraghi, with an often south/south-east located entrance. But it would not clear up some doubts. Why would the “Losa” have so many “wombs”, all of different sizes? Twin birth? And why is the entrance of one of these “wombs” independent and located on the north-east side?
It is clear that the nuraghi enigma is far from a solution. And this is their greatest attraction.
The interpretations that consider them huge funeral monuments clash with others that are more pragmatic and pseudo-scientific and see them as large furnaces to melt metals, or primitive warehouses to store food.
There is no way out: those who visit nuraghi always have a theory and, as it happens when admiring an artistic masterpiece, everyone is convinced they have found the solution to the enigma around them. It is the great thing about the nuraghi; it is the great thing about Nuraghe “Losa”.
HOW TO GET THERE: The nuraghe is located along the SS 131, between km 123 and km 124. The “Losa” can be reached following the road from Olbia to Nuoro along the SS 131 d.c.n.