The great environmental diversity that surrounds the Giara has favored human settlement since the Neolithic period. There is no town in this part of the Marmilla that does not preserve archaeological sites of great importance. The same plateau that dominates this landscape preserves important remnants from continuous human presence since ancient times. The obsidian artifacts and burial caves, called Domus de Janas, tell the story of the lives of those who lived there. The Scala Pitzosa (Tuili), Sa ucca ’e su paùi (Gesturi) and Sa Domu' e S'Orcu (Setzu), are some of the burial caves worth mentioning.
The period that has left more traces in this territory is the Nuragic, in which the relationship between man and land became closer, making the economic and strategic importance of this area palpable. The structure of the Giara, with its vast plateau, steep slopes, limited number of access points, and 360° panoramic view, offered a response to the defensive needs of the small Sardinian communities and gave them the land and pastures that they needed to survive. Therefore, a system of simple and complex nuraghes was developed along the shore and on the slopes of the plateau in order to control the different scalas, or paths, to the Giara.
In the south-eastern part of the plateau, you can see the end of the Bruncu Maduli complex, the most impressive example of proto-nuraghe on the island, as well as a large settlement of huts placed around shared courtyards.
It would be necessary to perform deeper archaeological excavations in order to give more validity to the hypothesis about the occupation of the Giara. The current information is the result of a series of superficial surveys and stratigraphic excavations, which allowed the experts to only have a provisional description of the nuraghes that have been discovered so far.
At the edge of the plateau, there are mainly single tower nuraghes, which are sometimes protected by a wall, such as the nuraghes of Tramatza and Nieddu in Gonnosnò, Mummuzzu in Assolo, Su Corrazzu and Pranu d'Omus in Genoni. On the other hand, the nuraghes that emerge on the slopes show quite complex structures consisting of two or more towers, such as the nuraghe of Biriu in Genoni. In some cases, you can see the ruins of circular huts around a nuraghe, which were part of both important and unimportant human settlements. Moreover, some monuments are remnants from human presence in subsequent periods, such as the nuraghe of Tutturuddu in Tuili and the nuraghe of Santa Lucia in Assolo. The sites dating back to the Nuragic period are not only scattered across the top of the plateau, but also in the hills at the foot of the Giara.
The temples and sacred wells of Coni (Nuragus) and San Salvador (Gonnosnò) are other sites that can be visited. There is also a group of giants’ tombs called Is Lapideddas in Gonnosnò.
The Punic and Roman occupation is confirmed by the presence of some settlements, such as Nuridda and Santa Luisa in Tuili, and by the archaeological sites of Bruncu Suergiu and Pranu d'omus in Genoni. Ruins from smaller settlements, which date back to Roman times, have also been found along the slopes and at the foot of the plateau.
The sites listed here are just some of the many monuments that can tell the story of the people who lived in this area in ancient times. It is, on the whole, a rich heritage that must be preserved by disseminating this information to the public. This is precisely why important museums have emerged in throughout this region in recent decades. These structures guard the legacy of past civilizations and show new generations the significance of each artifact and the importance of knowing about our past.