The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari www.sardegnacultura.it was the highlight of my visit to the castle. It’s open from 09.00 to 20.00 every day except Monday. It’s right next door to the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the National Art Gallery, but I didn’t have time to go there as the museum took a couple of hours to get around. Like regional galleries and museums all around Italy they call themselves ‘national’ for some reason. In 2015 the museum cost €4, or you could get a joint ticket that takes in the gallery as well for €5.
The photos that follow are just of objects that caught my eye. They are just a few of the thousands of objects on display.
The exhibition begins in the Stone Age with a few Neolithic icons.
The star of the show however is the Nuraghic civilisation, so-called because of the stone Megaliths they built, called Nuraghe, which can be found all over Sardinia (there are 7000 in all).
The other remnant of this Bronze Age civilisation are the Bronzetti, small bronze figurines that depict people from different social classes and groups (mothers, hunters, warriors, chiefs) as well as animals, divinities, ships and everyday objects.
About 500 of the figures have been found in total, mainly in Sardinia, but also at Etruscan sites on the mainland, in Campania and Lazio, as well as the Greek site of Crotone in Calabria.
On a larger scale, also from the same Nuraghic civilisation, are the Gigantis de Mont’e Prama, or Giants of Mont’e Prama; a group of tall stone statues possibly depicting heroes or gods.
There are also a lot of clay figures on display, some quite amusing and bizarre. This first one might be a baby feeding bottle, or perhaps an oil pourer. I was whizzing through so I can’t remember which civilisations they’re from sorry.
There are pieces from more far-flung civilisations, such as Egyptian…
… and even Indian.
Not sure where this interesting necklace is from.
Of course there are plenty of Roman finds. These I think were offerings thrown into a lake.
The Romans liked to have plenty of statues around…
… and to be buried in stone sarcophagi.
And finally a bit of Medieval.
This is one of the best museums I’ve been too in terms of the quality and number of finds on display. It gives you a good idea of the importance of Sardinia as an interface between the many cultures that have passed through the Mediterranean.