LOCATION: Middle-East Sardinia -Orune
AGE: Nuragic Age- From the Bronze Age to the early Iron Age (XII-IX century b.C.)
If you want to disclose the mystery of the Sacred Wells you cannot miss the nuragic source “Su Tempiesu”. Fortunately, this site has been perfectly preserved. Most of nuragic wells in the Island have only the well’s structure and the stairs, whereas “Su Tempiesu”, probably due to a landslide that protected it till 1953, keeps its original structure.
This beautiful well shows that the nuragic sources were really solid buildings. They were fascinating and cosy temples and probably only priest had access to them.
The stones used for the nuragic wells are set with more accuracy than the ones used for the nuraghi. Furthermore stone working is more regular and accurate. You can find this kind of building all over the Island, in Paulilatino, Bonorva or Olbia for instance. The holy source “Su Tempiesu” is the only one with a double roof due to the shale wall covering it. This temple was probably built at the end of the Bronze Age and it was used till the early Iron Age.
The fore part of the holy source, tre metres and half high, is formed by a triangular element ending with a pyramidal block.
The holy source Su Tempiesu is composed by trachyte and basalt stones connected to lead cramps. The stones used to build this monument may have been carried from far away because in the area around the temple there are only schist and granite outcrops. Many blocks have some particular juts (rustications) with a knoll shape. Their aim was probably to facilitate the transportation of the stones. But some reliable scientists, such as Lilliu and Taramelli, consider it nuragic symbols. According to this interpretation the knolls could represent the Mother Cult giver of water, life and nourishment.
Su Tempiesu follows the classical nuragic well’s pattern, there is vestibule, a staircase (4 steps in this case) and a cell (with a “tholos”roof) to keep the source water. Also in this case the ground is made with trachyte blocks with a little round hollow used to purify the water. During the high-water, water spilling over the well flows off through an ingenious canal. In the first step there is a little gutter going on to a second source placed in the lower part of the monument. The archaeological finds have been found in this source during the excavations (they are today at the National Archaeological Museum of Nuoro).
HOW TO GET THERE: From Orune (NU) follow the signs to “Su Tempiesu”. Once arrived at the cemetery, turn in the paved road. After few kilometres leave your car and follow the path to the source on foot.