Cuccuru Is Arrius
Cuccuru is Arrius was a thin sandstone outcrop -whose formation dated back to the Quaternary Era — located on the southern shore of the pond of Cabras, today almost completely removed because of the construction of the drainage canal which serves as a link between the before-mentioned pond and the Gulf of Oristano. Man settled there since the Middle Neolithic (culture of Bonuighinu: 5th millennium BC), as evidenced by the Necropolis in which the dead were buried in artificial cave tombs. In particular, they were laid down on their left side in contracted position, accompanied by rich burial goods, including pottery vessels, stone tools (greenstone hatchets, obsidian geometric microliths) and ones of bone (spear tips), as well as female figurines. The dead were also adorned with necklaces made up of minute chlorite wheels and shells.
Thanks to a favorable lacustrine habitat and a fertile surrounding land, the sitecontinued to be occupied in the closing stages of the Upper Neolithic (facies of S. Ciriaco: end 5th-early 4th millennium BC), and in Late Neolithic (Ozieri culture: the 4th millennium BC) until the Chalcolithic Age (sub-facies Ozieri: 3edmillennium BC). The villages which sprung up in these phases are distinct from those of the previous prehistoric ones, with huts partially sunken into the ground, enclosed and covered with plant materials.
Ceramic vessels of San Ciriaco culture, made of purified clay, are characterized by relatively thin sections and shiny surfaces — mostly smoothed and polished — with generally uniform colors ranging from black to orange-red and to brown-leather.
From the village of Ozieri comes a rich collection of pottery, easily recognizable by the variety of shapes, sizes and techniques, not to mention the extraordinary imagination and harmony of decoration. Almost all the typological variations, between the open forms and the closed ones, are documented.
Some of the ceramic artifacts – including biconical spindle whorls and kidney-shaped loom weights, which could also have a trapezoidal form – were related to the activities of spinning and weaving.
After a long period of apparent abandonment, in the Late Bronze Age (1200-900 BC) the site was chosen by the Nuragic community of Sinis to plant a well temple (holy well). This was dug up in 1979 and preserved at the center of a small isle which formed during the construction of the drainage canal. The well temple was built according to a typical local plan which consists of a hypogeic cell, stairwell and hallway.
In this particular temple the cult of spring water was practiced. By filtering through the interstices of the lower rows, the sacred waters — which were regarded as the symbol of life and fertility — filled both the hypogeic cell and the stairwell. The same saurce — we still do not know if it was protected by walls—used to be worshiped during the Late Bronze Age (1365-1200 BC), as demonstrated by the fact that a deposit laying under the structures of the temple date back to this period.
Other settlements of Cuccuru Is Arrius date back to the Punic (5th -4th century BC) and the Roman periods (late 3rd century BC-3rd century AD). Some imported pottery, dating between the 4th an 1st century BC, was found in the Punic rural settlement, where house structures have not yet been discovered.
During the Roman Republic phase (late 3rd century- 1st century BC.) the well temple was reused as the site of a shrine dedicated to an agrarian and salutary cult. A rectangular space room of worship was annexed onto the proto-historic structure, with an altar and a deliberate votive deposit filled in a single solution with votive terracottas and earth.
During the Roman Imperial period (1st -3rd century AD) a necropolis consisting of 55 burials was built in the south-east of the hill.
The funerary practice was prevalently the inhumation: the corpses were placed in a supine position, with arms along the sides or folded across the chest, and buried in simple pits dug in the ground. Other types of graves were documented, including a stone box-like tombs and the burials in amphorae (the latter is a type called enchytrismos burial). Only five cases have been documented using the practice of incineration, and always with secondary deposition, which involved the use of urns made of ceramics or lead. The dead were buried with funeral goods, consisting of ceramic artifacts, coins and various objects of adornment.