Monte D'Accoddi
Monte d'Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in
the territory of Sassari near Porto Torres. The site consists of a massive raised
stone platform thought to have been an altar and was discovered in 1954 in a field
owned by the Segni family. The original structure was built by the Ozieri culture or
earlier c. 4,000-3,650 BC and has a base of 27m x 27m and probably reached a
height of 5.5m. It culminated in a platform of about 12.5m x 7.2m and was/is
accessible via a ramp. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found,
leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have
also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the
cardinal points of the compass. The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or
destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archaeological evidence.
Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with
a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then
applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36m x 29m, c.
10m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42m in length, built over the
older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats,
and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture. Archaeological excavations from
the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d'Accoddi was used for
animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near
equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western
Europe, providing insight into the development of ritual in prehistoric society, and
earning it a designation as the most singular cultic monument in the early Western
Mediterranean. The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at
the onset of the Nuragic age. The surroundings of the Monte d'Accoddi have been
excavated in the 1960s and have provided the signs of a considerable sacred center.
Near the south-eastern corner of the monument there is a dolmen, and across the
ramp stands a considerable menhir, one of several standing stones which was
formerly found in the vicinity. The foundations of several small structures (possibly
residential) were excavated, and several mysterious carved stones. The most
impressive of these is a large boulder carved into the shape of an egg and then cut
through on a subtle curving three-dimensional line.
Located 4kms SE of Porto Torres, west of the road to Sassari.
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The Dolmen
The Carved Boulder
The Menhir
The Carved Stone